MIDWAY : The time that was

Sagun Bhandari

I cannot forget the blissful days of my childhood when I was unconcerned with the ups and downs of life, devoid of tensions, and sans greed. I didn’t have the capacity to distinguish between the good and the bad. Everything that pleased me was good, the things that did not, bad. I always found my elder sister lost in huge tomes and wondered what good reading was.

I used to sleep for hours in my cradle without an iota of worry. In case something went wrong, I would simply send out my window-breaking shrieks. And I instantly got what I wanted. My parents and neighbours hovered around my cradle and passed good comments. I believed I was an emperor who was ruling over all the people around. I could do whatever I fancied and no one was there to discourage my impish demands. How nice is the world, I used to think.

But that period of my life was fleeting and before long I found myself all grown up and unable to garner any of the attention that was showered on me during my babyhood. Against my wishes, I was forced to go to school. No amount of crying was enough to deter my parents. In school, teachers frequently smacked me. My situation was miserable. The image of the emperor was wiped clean from my memory. I still have hard time accepting the change that has come upon me. What a difference there is between childhood and adulthood!

These days, my young sister Monica gets all the attention. She gets to taste the luscious foods bought for me. Her beautiful simile dazzles everyone and all the praises are showered upon her. I sit by the side, envious. I think the crown that I was wearing in my childhood has been snatched and given to my little sister. I suspect if I will ever get it back. Now, Monica is always playing and I am buried amid my bulky books, worried about my forthcoming exams. And she has occupied my cradle. Sometimes, instead of going out to play, I sit at my desk and wonder if little Monica thinks herself an empress. A question keeps haunting my mind — Why doesn’t a person get the same amount of love and affection once he is past his childhood? But I have no answers. Oh, how I miss the time that was!