I was a difficult and obstinate child, saying no to me, would spell trouble to my parents and it means bringing the pavement down. I was such a child, who would never shy rolling on the payment at the sight of a toy that one day Mom had no option but to call the patrolling cop on the busy street during X-mas season to make me to stand and scare the shit outta me. It was the time we were walking past the shops displaying toys. It’s another matter that I’d grow sullen at home.
The little in child in me knew for sure that if I didn’t get my way with Mom-which I never did-emotional trick would be conjured on Dad. It always worked, at least, most of the time. I vividly remember that Dad coming home early on X-mas eve and I eagerly waited for him have his cup of tea, standing behind his back. I would patiently wait for him to get out of the shower and would ask thousand times what time we would go out. Finally, when the time came, the three of us-Mom, Dad and Me finally walked to the toy shop and run straight to the shop where I trained my eye balls on this Baby foot game. lt has all the making of a complete football game, the stadium, ball and two players that didn’t make me bat my eyelid.
On seeing Mom and Dad haggling with the shop wala, I stomped on my feet with anxiety and secretly praying that I get my game, something very modest for the middle class children when other kids afforded cars with remote control. It was the biggest and most fanciest thing in the 90s. The moment I got my gift from Dad, we scampered our way home as I held tightly to my possession as if there would be no tomorrow. Nothing would come between me and my gift.
Over the years, the football game became my most prized object and gift from Dad where I would spend Christmas and the rest of the year playing alone and convincing Dad to play with me. It’s a bond I shared with Dad in peals of laughter and as I hark back to the past, it made memories strengthening the bond with Dad. Dollops of love and happiness framed in memory with my toy.
Such childhood memories are framed in the mind that renders Kodak camera redundant. It’s what makes the heart happy that matters the most in life. Today, when we see how our world is restricted to social media, verging to the anti-social when kids stick to the lap top, Ipad and other gadgets, leading to less interaction with parents, I realize how lucky we were in the 90s. Our generation had a life, bonding with parents over toys. The game crumbled with time but the emotions remain priceless.