This refers to the article “Our children miss the fun & frolic of yesteryear” (Open Page, Nov. 13). Recently, I went with my parents and four-year-old daughter to the seashore. The last time I had visited one was years ago when I was five. On seeing the surf and waves, I started pacing up and down. I started collecting shells — as was my habit when I was a child. With wonder-filled eyes, I showed them to my little one. Little was I prepared for her reaction “chee, they are wet and dirty, and smell awful.” I sighed and wondered at my “miniature adult.” Definitely, times have changed. So have children. Suddenly, my father took the shells from me and slipped them into his pocket — just as he used to when I was a little girl. Smiling, he said: “The child in her will wake up eventually. At least the child in you has not grown up.”
Rohini K. Potti,
The article has drawn a huge response from readers across India. The joy we knew as children was simple and delightful. Parents were strict but were also indulgent. Their expectations were practical and simple. They wanted us to become responsible persons and be able to appreciate good things in life.
Girls were as lucky as boys when it came to playing. Skipping and hopping ensured that we remained thin. Without any fear of losing our ‘figures,' we could eatmurukkuandcheedai, and yet remain hungry and thin. During summer, we would sit in the corridors of our homes and play indoor games such as ‘five stones' and ‘tamarind seeds.' The girls who won gathered as many seeds as they could in one sweep and stored it in their palm leaf boxes. The winners were as delighted as the winner ofKaun Banega Crorepati.