Two days back I was waiting for 21G bus in the afternoon. It was too hot and I couldn’t move even a little away from the shade. I was so tired that I did not even notice an a/c 21G passing and I missed it. Only people who travel by buses in the afternoons will understand what a great miss it was. There then came an ordinary non a/c 21G, but luckily it was not all that crowded. There were few seats unoccupied. But by the time I got in, all the seats got occupied and there was only one two seater left. I ran to the seat and sat in the non-window seat leaving the window seat free. I didn’t want to take the window seat as I had gone for a ‘Fringe’ hair cut a week before and the fast blowing wind will leave my hair with lot of tangles. There were days when I used to fight for this window seat. Those days, as a small girl, peeping through the window was more important than how my hair would look when I get down. All this brought back those memories of my childhood and the silly fights, I had, with my friends for not letting me sit near the window. A lot of things have changed and I have become a woman from a small girl.
I used to play all day during my summer vacation when I was a small girl. The afternoons never made the ‘girl’ tired. Now, I play everyday just to shed the few extra pounds and there is no fun element involved with the games. It has become more an exercise than a game for this ‘woman’. I used to make myself look as dirty as possilble by playing in the mud; in the hot sun.But, today, I apply as much as sun-cream my skin can hold to prevent it from tanning. On top of it, I cover my face with my dupatta if at all I step down from the bus or car.
Whenever taken to a restaurant I used to spell the dishes and order all the newly learnt dishes. I loved eating chat items. As a woman, today, I want to take-in calories as less as possible. In my order list even Coke and Pepsi have been replaced by diet coke and diet Pepsi. Even silly things have changed drastically. I had the habit of biting nails very often. I had nails deep below the edge of the finger, the minimum that is required to avoid pain while biting. But as I grew up, I thought nails add to the beauty of my hand and started growing them, just for the sake of painting them in different colours matching my costume.
Everything, right from eating to drinking, habits as silly as biting nails to games, has changed. What is lost is the carefreeness and innocence that can never be got back. Thinking about all this for so long, i got lost in the sweetness of the memories of my childhood and it took me a long time to come back to the present, the reality. The bus reached my stop and the moment I got up to get down, a kid rushed to my seat. The girl asked the lady who was sitting in the window seat next to me, if she could allow the kid to sit there. The moment the girl sat there she smiled as wide as possible looking at her mom and that smile defined it all. I smiled with a tear in my eyes and got down.