I complain about earphones not working properly. I throw my phone against the wall when the data connection is too slow. The only thing that brings a smile to my face is the completion of a level in Candy Crush.
But wasn’t there a time when I had no idea about these things? There certainly was a time when building the perfect sand castle was the highlight of the week. I remember cooking an imaginary sweet dish with my cooking-set and serving it to my mom. I surely remember acting like a doctor, and handing out medical certificates to every person who visited my room a.k.a. clinic. Couldn’t I go back to those days? I recall those days when I played a random tune on the xylophone, much to the badly concealed displeasure of my neighbours. Swings in the garden serve to remind me of the awesome moments I’ve spent surrounded by fresh air, green grass under my feet.
I wonder how those days flew past me. Here I am now, besieged by heavy books with scary titles. I don’t step into the kitchen, unless it is to get a bottle of water or a packet of chips. There’s absolutely no time to diagnose myself, forget about others. The only music I here these days is full of rap and chockablock with innuendos. And if I need a break from studies, I can only swing by a fast food joint or an ice-cream parlour.
But this time I went to a garden.
No, you don’t need to gasp and ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at me. I went there only so that I could write this post down.
When I entered the kiddie section of the garden, I really had to stop myself from wandering over to the swing sets. I still remember the last time I did it: I was stared at so badly by a girl who wanted to sit on the swings. And I was the one who occupied the only not-broken swing. I thought she’d pull me off the swing with her tiny little hands, and throw me onto the ground.
I really wish it was acceptable for a teenager like me to ride on a swing. I know, there are weight restrictions, and if I sat down on the swing, it would break. But I’d trade anything with anyone who could make a swing for me to sit on. No, not those huge ones for the full family to sit on. I want the exact same swing I used to fly on, just with a little changes pertaining to weight restrictions et al.
Shaking off this memory, I headed over to the next thing that attracted me: the sand pit. There were a few kiddos in there. All of them had the same plastic toys I used to play with. These hardworking brats brought another memory to my mind. The memory of my first quest.
The quest was quite simple: dig and dig into the sand till I hit the jackpot of a hole full of sea water. If you’re wondering how I got the idea for this quest, here’s the back story. I was playing with my beach toys; just the routine digging, making small hills, and basically getting sand into my shoes, clothes and mouth. That was till I saw another girl my age playing with her beach toys just like me. But unlike me, she had dug deep enough, and had hit jackpot: there was water in the hole she had dug up! The dodo I was, I thought she had dug right into the sea, and that the water in the hole was sea water. And that made me start digging every time I went to the beach.
I stopped this quest the day I saw the girl bring water from the sea in a bucket and pour it into the freshly dug hole.
Thinking about this incident brought a smile to my face. And then I wondered: Would it really look awkward if I were to head to a sand pit now with my beach toys? Obviously, I would be able to make better and bigger castles now. But would the little kings around me raise a fight? After all, a king who leaves his kingdom is seldom welcomed back. Specially by the ones who have usurped the throne in his absence.
I headed back home, but my wanderings into Nostalgia Path had not ceased.
The cooking set was another toy set I loved. And since cooking is a lone man’s show, I wouldn’t be judged if I were to enter the kitchen with my toys, would I? At least I wouldn’t be surrounded by midgets. No one could laugh at me in the kitchen!
Or who am I kidding? My kitchen toy set is plastic, and the stove was plastic. One peek into the kitchen confirmed that the toy set AND the stove were made of metal. Plus the knives are sharp.
Maybe I could just heat up some Potato Smileys and finish off this fantasy?
The sight of my out-of-order earphones reminded me of the xylophone. I have no qualms about banging a mallet against wooden bars even now. But wouldn’t that take away a lot of time from my study timetable? And I have to mention here: my neighbours wouldn’t forgive me so easily. Not when I have that teenage smug, I-don’t-care attitude plastered across my face, along with an unapologetic smile.
I think it would be better for me to just zone out once in a while, and play with my baby toys in my dreams. Or would I be judged if I were to play Snakes and Ladder in public?