I Found A Hidden Treasure Of Silver Coins And I Could Buy All I Wanted…
The hot summer’s day was wearing my patience thin. The drill school uniform of a blue skirt, a white cambric shirt, black Bata shoes, white socks and a heavy backpack loaded with books added to the drudgery of the day.
The public transport bus that I took home after school broke down, all the passengers were asked to get off and find their way home.
Perhaps, I was around 9 or 10 years of age. Exhausted and worn out I looked around and found the only stone bench at the next bus stop was occupied with passengers waiting for the next bus. A narrow ledge of stones that served as a barrier between the road and the footpath seemed as the next best option to sit down and wait until the bus arrived.
It seemed like ages waiting for the bus. Drawing imaginary lines with bare fingers in the dirt near my feet seemed to occupy me well to help pass the time.
Growing up in India in the 60s and 70s I often took public transport home from school. It was a time when we made do with whatever we were blessed with which was little in comparison with today’s standards in an advanced nation where I live.
Parents didn’t worry about their children walking home from school or taking public transport, and if they did, perhaps they said a silent prayer to the Almighty with implicit faith that their children returned home safely.
My siblings and I didn’t have many toys to play with. My parents’ focus was on education and we were sent to good schools that they could afford. We had a few board games which we played with my father such as scrabble, draughts, carrom board etc. My greatest possession I recall was a beautiful doll with blonde hair, blue eyes and green shoes which I could take off. I was the fortunate one to have it as most of my playmates admired it but were content with playing with games that we invented and had a good time. A flat piece of rock became a prized possession that was used to draw squares in the sand or the concrete floor to play hop skip and jump. We certainly knew how to amuse ourselves with even 5 pieces of small round rocks by coming up with a game that had some rules.