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Two tags in One post

August 4, 2008

Vishesh tagged me to write on what inspires me.

Just being alive inspires me! I am happy to be alive and to be able to feel and touch and see and taste. I love nature and it is nature which really inspires me. The dark night, the humming forest, the mysterious stars, the awe-inspiring mountains, the endless sea, the vast desert…thundering waterfalls, the rustle of a leaf, the twittering of a bird, the sound of the rain, the whistling wind, the racing clouds, the deep blue sky…or the roar of a lion! Even today I would love to retreat to a lush and remote island and spend the rest of my life writing…er…but I need the latest computer and a wi-fi internet connection! And also good plumbing! πŸ™‚

Another thing that inspires me. Men and women of courage. I am in total awe of them. Mostly it is historical figures like Rani of Jhansi or Alexander the Great or amongst mythological characters…Abhimanyu. These characters capture my imagination and set my mind and heart on fire. I guess at heart I am an adventurer. These are my superheroes.

There are many books and authors which have inspired me since my childhood. In a way I always feel that books, particularly literature, has had an influence in shaping my character. There are so many that I cannot list them here…but I whether it was Shakespeare, the Greek plays, stories from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, philosophers like Socrates or Lin Yutang…I was influenced and inspired. I was immersed in these from the age of about 8 to about 25 and they all had a profound effect on me.

All those whose names (not blog names but personal names) start with A, C, E, G, I, K, M, O, Q, S, U, W, and Y are tagged to this meme.

Axinia tagged me to write about some favourite things I liked to do in my childhood. This is what she said:

And the question is: What are the 7 favourite things you enjoyed doing as a child? I wonder if many bloggers will find out many similarities? Is a childhood everywhere the same, or is it much coloured by the cultural/social background?

So here are my favourite things and I have given 8 of them and I am sure I missed a few! My childhood was inordinately a rich and happy one.

1. Playing games. I remember one very clearly which we called (in Marathi) dabba aispais. Basically it involved keeping an empty tin in the middle of the courtyard. Whoever was the den had to kick it and the others would run and hide. This game used to thrill me as did others like cops and robbers and card (memory) games like Not at Home. There used to be at least a dozen kid (both boys and girls) who would collect every evening and play some game or the other, in the various places where we lived. The high point of it all was if some adult yelled at us for making too much noise or becoming rowdy!

2. Visiting my uncle’s farm in Saswad. This used to happen often during the holidays (at times we cousins would stay overnight or for a few days). We would take long walks through the fields with an uncle(s) or aunt(s) and used to enjoy seeing jaggery being made in the sugarcane fields, pluck chickoos off the trees, pick grapes, suck on raw mango plucked fresh from the trees and look for guavas that were red from the inside as we believed they were more delicious. Wonderful days!

3. Getting together in my grandfather’s house in Pune. We cousins were about 20 in all and it was great fun living in that ancient house together, roaming in the various rooms, playing games, chasing each other and avoiding adults! I remember in that house (rather, wada) there were always locked rooms and we knew one had weapons, the other untold treasures, another was a room without a floor…and all we wanted to get the doors open! The nights were the great fun too. The family retainer would lay down our mattresses one after another in the huge hall which could have accomodated 200 people with ease and we would dare each other to go to the end of the hall which lay in darkness. Darkness which could yield some pretty nasty ghosts!

4. Eating home-made mango ice-cream and ofcourse aam-rus fresh from the farms!

5. Visiting old temples (my mom is a very religious person). This may sound strange coming from an agnostic like me..but frankly I never quite grasped the religiosity of the temple-going activity. I loved the temples for the sense of peace they offered. I really believe what they say about a place giving off vibes, and I think temples do too. The vibes of all those who have prayed there with pure hearts. Even today the sense of peace that i get in a temple is something I cherish…but not a crowded temple. My favourite kind of temple is one which is far away from the crowds, from civilisation, with only silence around it. I need to be alone, absolutely alone. There used to be such temples in those days…

6. Another solitary activity I loved was playing with cars and had a good collection. I used to run my cars in the garden, across pebbles and stones and puddles, all the while imagining myself to be in them, enjoying each ride and adventure. I played with dolls too, but that was only after the age of 12. I used to enjoy feeding my dolls, never dressing them up!

7. One more solitary activity I cherished – writing. This was after the age of 10, when I started writing a diary.

8. I was a collector…of everything! From funny shaped pebbles, dead insects, dried flowers to quotations, stamps and old coins! You name it and I collected it once! I also enjoyed keeping a scrapbook.

All those whose names (not blog names but personal names) start with B, D, F, H, J, L, N, P, R, T, V, X, Z are tagged to do this meme.

Please do the tags only if they inspire you…or forget it!

25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2008 10:37 am

    yet another tag! πŸ™‚ Loved reading your likings and dislikings πŸ™‚

  2. August 4, 2008 10:50 am

    thank you, Nita, for doing the tag. You answers are captivating!

  3. lallopallo permalink
    August 4, 2008 11:10 am

    Interesting thoughts indeed. You got into serious reading at a pretty young age.
    What’s the best socrates book/work you have read? Or, in other words, work from Socrates which influenced you the most?

  4. August 4, 2008 12:34 pm

    Thanks Sakhi.
    Axinia, you are welcome. I enjoyed doing that tag! It took me back to my childhood and made me realise what a lucky person I am! Thank you. One needs to realise how blessed one is.
    Lallopallo, you are asking me about something I read 25 years ago, but well, I read Plato, in fact studied his work in college ( I have studied English Honours at BA level). He was a student of Socrates and wrote about Socrates’ ideas. I have also read a lot about Socrates, his ideas and views. More than Plato, it was Socrates who inspired me. As I said in my post, it was not just writings but also authors who inspired me because of their life, how they reacted to society, their ideas, their general character and the circumstances of their life.
    However I did not study Lin Yutang in college. I read him on my own. I would recommend his “Importance of Living.” I read that book five times when I was just 18 years old.

  5. August 4, 2008 12:39 pm

    Nice post. I guess what you do as a child stays with you forever. I enjoyed reading it very much.

  6. August 4, 2008 12:40 pm

    Beautifully written…

  7. August 4, 2008 12:55 pm

    dabba aispais
    was a fun game – so was lagori

    nice insight πŸ™‚

  8. August 4, 2008 1:59 pm

    Interesting. getting together with all the cousins was indeed a great time!.

  9. August 4, 2008 3:49 pm

    Collections!! I (used to) collect stamps,coins,match box labels,newspaper cuttings of important events(Pre internet era),telephone cards etc. etc.

    My brother has a decent collection of balls(tennis, cricket,rubber etc etc) and create a senti scene when dad asked him to dispose the off, little did dad knew it was his “collection”.(He is turning 23 soon)


  10. August 4, 2008 4:41 pm

    so everything inspires you too πŸ™‚

    hmmm….i am only 17 πŸ™‚ what can i say i did in my childhood? lol πŸ™‚ i still do most of them…:D

    We have something in common huh! πŸ™‚ And at 17 one’s childhood would extend to about 14 I’d say. As one grows older, the childhood time line increases! πŸ™‚ – Nita

  11. August 4, 2008 5:04 pm

    Thanks, Odzer, Rahul, Prax, Xylene, Nikhil and Vishesh! No pressure to do the meme!

  12. wishtobeanon permalink
    August 4, 2008 5:43 pm

    Beautiful post. I can identify with many of your inspirations too! πŸ™‚
    I wonder if group games like those you mentioned are still played – maybe in rural areas untouched by the internet? I used to love playing a game called ‘Lagori’ – it was a game played by two teams with a ball and 7 stones if I remember it right. Anyone heard about this game? In those times, I think kids were more creative in finding ways to pass time.
    Visiting grandmother’s house and playing with cousins, eating mangoes, roaming around in my grandmother’s garden and climbing trees, playing pretend etc. were some of my favorite childhood activities.

  13. karthik shandilya permalink
    August 4, 2008 5:49 pm

    dabba aispais–have never played that game. :O
    always used to cycle in the city as a kid and played a lot of cricket and also football as a striker.i used to score a lot as i always waited near the goal along with goalie and someone used to pass the ball and i would around 10 goals each match.i had no idea about offside rule(no one who played with me had any clue that there is a rule like that :D)

    don’t the bad things that happen around you or in society to inspire you?
    anyways nice post.

  14. karthik shandilya permalink
    August 4, 2008 5:53 pm

    i used to play “choochandu” (in kannada) .the one who gets the ball has to hit others and others should escape.

  15. August 4, 2008 6:32 pm

    i just loved the way u have written the first tag specially the first para .. πŸ™‚
    collected dead insects.. !! πŸ˜› never heard that before πŸ™‚
    playing with cars.. collecting coins stamps ..
    hmm…i used to do them too.
    good o’l days πŸ˜›

  16. lallopallo permalink
    August 4, 2008 7:36 pm

    Ok, thanks for the reply. The reason I asked about Socrates was because I have read about him and his views only from secondary sources.
    I once tried reading one of his books, but that was not a good start. So, I was wondering if you can recommend a book/work by him.
    Importance of living looks interesting.

  17. August 4, 2008 8:30 pm

    getting together at grandfather’s place, brought back so many nice memories :)..

    aam rus..fresh from the farm..lucky you πŸ™‚

  18. August 4, 2008 8:32 pm

    wishtobeanon, even I wonder about that,whether the tv and the internet has taken over the young so much that they don’t play games anymore! in rural areas they must be I guess, although their childhood ends early!

    karthik, I am sure you must have played a game equivalent of dabba aispais. mostly all cultures have such games, but they call it something else, with a variation.β€œchoochandu” sounds interesting…

    Arvind, suppose I told you that I used to kill those insects? πŸ˜›

    Lallopallo, actually one’s liking for a subject often has to develop over time… and then one gets bored of that genre. That too can happen.

    Rambler, πŸ™‚

  19. August 4, 2008 8:39 pm

    Someone real name beginning with Q?????

    I guess its hard to find any girl who hasnt played with dolls. But after age 12? they usually stop at that age. And I totally same pinch on u the temple thing. Me and my sister too dont like to visit crowded temples. My sister loved the Bahai temple in Delhi for its serenity and silence. I havent been there yet. I also collected stones, stamps, coins and quotations. πŸ™‚ But in games we played nadi pahad and hide seek more.

  20. August 4, 2008 10:58 pm

    It was like a journey back to those wonderful care free days.

    I can add some more – we had abba-dhubi, marbles, koyba, kabbadi, land-or-water, french cricket (crazy isn’t it), cycling……

    I am right now immersed in deep nostalgia……


  21. August 5, 2008 6:57 am

    Reema, my doll playing was different from other girls. While initially I used to feed them, later my collection of 7-8 dolls, had different names, personalities and attitude to life. I confess I used to have short conversations with them! Well, at least till I was about 17 or so. πŸ™‚ In any case at every birthday until my early teens, I used to get dolls as presents, and that was why ultimately got interested in dolls. They were very real to me.

    Mavin, that is what writing this post made me do too!

  22. August 5, 2008 8:27 am

    Wow πŸ™‚ wonderful! You are a definition of “Living it up”! πŸ™‚
    I want my childhood back 😦 While I was able to connect to many of the things, I would mention this one:

    “The high point of it all was if some adult yelled at us for making too much noise or becoming rowdy!”

    We used to run, jump, play on the terrace that the people inside the houses would literally feel the bangs πŸ˜€ Philately was my hobby as a child! But I stopped it in my 7th grade, as I had to take up board exams that year πŸ™‚ I slowly lost interest in that. I used to write from my 6th grade. I reember preparing our own notes for English and Social studis in the 5th Grade πŸ˜€ lol….I sed to love those ‘Hot Wheels” (cars). Your tag made m remember lots of things in my childhood. Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  23. August 7, 2008 10:26 am

    took up your tag . the 2nd one


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