‘Nostalgic memories can evoke happiness’ the article said. I search my brain for my earliest memories. I see myself hiding under my bed to get away from the noise of fireworks. Loud noises used to frighten me. Later on visiting temples and unannounced firecrackers going off used to have the same effect. Only problem being there was no beds to hide under in those instances. My father would find me and fetch me from my hiding place.
School was from 8 to 12. We woke up around 700. Amma used to lay out our uniforms for the day on our beds and make breakfast which was a glass of sweetened porridge on most days. Occasionally we had a milky pudding made from arrow root. Those were my favourite days, chewing the gelatinous tiny balls as I savoured every drop.
School was less than half an hour walk from home. Sometimes I would pick some hibiscus or buttercup flowers for the teachers. Amma would also pack a snack for us, a peeled apple or a sandwich with honey and a drink. During the mornings we didn’t dither as there wasn’t much time and we would walk straight to school.
At school we had individual tables and chairs. I think it was Mr Choo who used to wear shorts and he used to keep twitching his knee cap as he walked around taking lessons. I was fascinated by this and used to wonder how he managed to do this. I tried to twitch mine as well, but doing it sitting down was impossible.
Break time came at about ten. The snacks came out and we would go outside the classroom to talk to our friends or play on the monkey bars in the playground.
At midday, it was time to go home and have lunch. A yellow bus, which looked more like a lorry was our school bus. I only got in it if I had no other choice. Some days we had afternoon activities. Cooking lessons at Mr Coveney’s house by his wife. I still have the recipes. We baked cakes and savoury dishes. Amma and Asha used to wait for me to bring my share home. Friday’s we had swimming lessons. I never did learn to swim properly then. There was a scouts and brownies afternoon.
A childhood filled with happy carefree memories and the trip down memory lane is something I will keep doing from time to time.