It's past 1 am on Sunday night, oh! In fact it’s already Monday. Until now I was sitting quietly doing nothing in my balcony enjoying the cool breeze, out of nowhere I got this idea of bringing my laptop here, put it on my lap and write something. I don’t quiet know what am I going to write at this hour of night. But at the end of it, if I actually decide to publish it on my blog – which again is something that I don’t know right now – please read it at your own risk.
This balcony of my apartment where I am sitting right now faces a small park. It’s really a small park with couple of slides and swings for kids and some 4-5 benches for people to sit on. The park is surrounded by apartments on three sides, and is used solely by the residents in these apartments. Though for some unknown reasons I have never been to this park. I mean if I have to go to this park I don’t have to make any special efforts, everyday when I get down from the staircase all I have to do is turn left instead of usual right, take hardly three steps and I'll be inside this little park. Though I have never been there but I like this little park, which has some grass in patches, some plants and some those which are bigger than being a plant but don’t yet qualify to be called a tree. What do you call such botanical entities? Whatever!!!
Everyday in evening I see kids from nearby apartments playing here. The slightly bigger one's trying to impress the smaller ones with their knowledge and power. Yeah! kids, if you hear them talking while they are playing or waiting for their turn on the swing, and I actually enjoy hearing them and seeing their facial expressions sitting in this same balcony, they use their wisdom to leave an impression on other kids. They talk all intelligently about Harry Potter, Shaktimaan, Popeye, even Sachin Tendulkar and other Pogo/Cartoon Network characters to prove their superiority over other kids. There are some smaller kids who obviously have lesser knowledge than the bigger kids but they have understood the power of creating a scene. So in order to leave an impression what they do is start screaming and everyone lets them have their way.
There is tough competition at their level too.
I remember in my childhood, like majority of normal Indian kids we mostly played Cricket. And I have always loved playing cricket. I was a mediocre player among my locality friends. There were two reasons why I was a mediocre cricketer – The first one being the fact that there were at least a couple of guys among my friends who were really good and superior players, and the second and more important reason was that many other friends in our cricket group were pathetic players. So, There!
We also played Football, which was played once in a while and was season specific. Like if it was raining then playing cricket was tough, but it was the most perfect time to play football. Some times we used to play some other desi games as well like Kanche (marbles), Gilli-danda (don’t know if there is an English name to that) and Patang-baji (kite flying). Though I never really enjoyed any of them much.
I could never ever control a kite and had to be content with holding the charkhi while other friends flew kites. That was the only reason why I hated summer vacations, when for some weird reasons everyone wanted to get on the roof top of their houses and fly kites instead of playing glorious game of Cricket. You had to compete with other kids in kite flying which was also called 'pech ladana' and when your kite was lost in the competition and the winning guy on the next rooftop screamed with joy 'woh kaataa!!', you almost compulsorily had to blame other guy for foul play, throw abuses at each other and sometimes even fight. And since I was basically a peace loving person, I did not like kite flying. Okay, the other reason for me not liking it was that I could not fly a kite.
Another sport which we played, and which I am sure not many of you have played, was Tree Climbing. Yeah! Tree climbing. There were many trees in and around our locality, and we often spent time conquering these trees. And mind you they were not small trees, they were giant trees some even up to 40 – 50 feet tall. We had trees of all difficulty levels – lean trees, trees with wide trunks, trees with weird shapes, and trees with absolutely straight trunks. We conquered them all, and this was one game I was an expert at. I was the first one to climb this tree which we considered Mount Everest of trees in our locality, and I earned much respect among my friends after conquering it. The only regret I have about my tree climbing career is that I could never conquer this huge Blackberry tree which was right in front of my house. The reason was simple; climbing this tree was not possible without my parents coming to know about this adventure sport of ours. And parents coming to know about it was not a healthy thing for the future of this unique sport. Also since my dad had grown a money plant (I still wonder why do they call it so?) and it had beautifully wrapped itself on the trunk of this Blackberry tree, my any attempts to climb the tree in absence of my parents would also have been noticed by looking at the crushed money plant.
Sadly the blackberry tree was cut off as it had become a major reason of nonsense for our home. In summers people walking by our house would throw stones at the tree in the hope that the tree would want to take its sweet revenge by throwing some blackberries at them, but most of the times they'd miss their target and the stones would land on our window glasses.
I miss you blackberry tree; your blackberries were the sweetest I have ever had.