Thursday, August 20, 2009

The joy of weekends!!


As a kid, Friday was the most awaited day for me. Two art periods, One Mass P.T, one singing period and the rest quickly finished. End of the day, end of the week! The ride home was a joyride in its truest sense. The afternoon was spent making soap bubbles with a straw or bouncing the lone ball in the veranda, all the while spinning tales to myself, incessant dreams, unlimited horizons. There was nothing better than a Friday evening, it brought home tickets to a movie! Saturday was about tidying up the room in the morning after a nice breakfast of luchi torkari(puri/bhaji) followed by a walk to the library at the end of the street for a few comics and a thick book. the afternoon was spent sprawled on the bed or floor with this book, till dad was free to sit with me and all my school work of the week gone by. Homework done, doubts cleared, sums solved and I was free to go out to play. There was Rupal of course and our bikes, there was a play ground and a few other kids, and we played everything from 'house-house ' to 'catch me if you can'. Sunday was market day, this was my mother's favourite day of the week. She loves the market even today, and I have never liked it one bit, even now grocery and vegetable shopping is a necessary evil for me. So as my mom bent over the fresh veggies and fish and all those sneeze inducing spices, Baba and I sat in the parking lot, a safe, sneeze free distance away from the frenzied bazaar, talking about nothing important. Those ordinary Sunday afternoons spent talking unnecessary things are the most vivid images in my mind till date. Sunday evening was about gearing up for the week to follow, it was about polishing the shoes and ironing the uniform, packing the bag and sleeping early. Computers and video games were unheard of and Television was not a passion yet. Weekends meant outdoors, they meant friends, they meant books , and they meant a lot of time with Baba. I did not comprehend the word 'boring' then.

Now, weekends mean sleeping in late. waking up with a bored look. fighting over the remote control, some precious thoughts from the daughter as to why we cant have two TVs, like most of her friends do. There is some lecture from me on sundry topics and on the idiot box, which is promptly ignored by the daughter and vehemently responded to by the son, who in turn talks about his deprived life. A boy his age without play station or even a gameboy, he goes on till he feels the point is drilled in till the far end of my brain. A book glued to her face my daughter manages to eat what is put in front of her. My boy, happy with the end of lecture and his full control over the remote, eats too. Attempts at conversation are groggily responded to in monosyllables or largely ignored. There is no outdoors apart from the club swimming pool for them. There are malls and indoor games, there is coke and popcorn. There are endless phone calls, there are sentences that begin and end with the word 'boring'. There is a lot of solitary activity like sketching or playing the keyboard, there is also the usual homework and the crafts and the projects that need to be done. There are a few cuddles too and a few laughs, there is the phone call from the grandparents, that till now is more heartfelt than customary. I am sure kids today enjoy their weekends too, just that the perception of enjoyment has changed.

49 comments:

SJ said...

Oh My! reading this, I felt like my mom talking! Really!! She used to say the same things, "we never knew what bore meant." "We played so many outdoor games, the whole clan gathers around during festivals'
"You kids know nothing except Tv and pressing that remote tukku tukku tukku - (this is the sound that comes from pressing the remote according to my mom)"
Did I enjoy my weekends? Honestly I wish I had my mom's weekends instead, it sounds so much fun than my own TV/movie/swimming/BORE weekend.

So well written. I could picture you blowing bubbles and sprawled on the floor with books.

Aparna said...

My weekends were short as we had school even on Saturdays. We played, outside, had sumptuous home made food and gathered at somebody's house to watch the Sunday evening Doordarshan movies. Not every body had a TV, but it suited us all fine as it meant watching movies with the friends.
Now both my kids have classes on Saturdays, and Sundays they get bored together.What fun.

Meira said...

lol @ SJ!

But I agree with you, Sujata. weekends were simple n pleasing. With family games, waiting for parents to come back from grocery shopping (and get samosas n jalebis for us).

ZB said...

ditto the same......i too have felt this thing ,,,nicely written.

Hopeless Romantic said...

:), well it brought a smile on my face...i guess life do get monotonous after a while. I am still not in that zone, but i am not sure how i am going to adjust to a fri/sat night at home :P

Amit

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Lovely post, Sujata. Brings back many memories, of my childhood and also my children's. I became a part of your childhood memories as I read your memoir, a "fictionalized reader".

We were in Visag when our children started going to school. Sunday mornings meant four of us on a Lamby scooter (and later on a rickety Fiat) going to the Lawson's Bay. Swimming till we were drunk with happiness, having lunch at a restaurant, looking at the sea through glass, and coming back to doze off while the TV showed a film that no one was interested in.

The next station was Trivandrum, with the children grown up and and the four of us, along with a few friends, hooked to the SCRABBLE. Oh! What a fantastic game, try it. It bonds a family better than Fevicol!

Sorry! My comments are longer than the original post!

Gymnast said...

Oh come on, get your son a playstation. It really is not that harmful. I know tons of people who played it a lot, but still turned out fine.

Nikki said...

Errr...ok. I know the feeling. I grew up in the 90s so I have had a mix of both; playing outside and video games. I always looked forward to the weekends and still do.

I pity my cousin though..he has them all-ps2, ps3 and now an X-box. And no friends to share them with!

Shivi said...

He he that reminds me of the fact that we did'nt had cable/dish T.V. connection at home till 2003[the year I passed my ICSE 10th and went out to study]. My teachers used to give examples to rest of my class fellas that "see, she can concentrate more because she does'nt watches T.V. [ Now,who knows ,I did'nt liked to watch or had no other option] anyways,harsh that it may have appeared at that time with buddies poking all the time to reduce their envy levels,it really helped me in shaping other skills with ample time and consequently the future!

Suraj said...

After reading your article, i really gave a thought as to what i used to do on weekends when i was a kid.......i remember playing a lots, the special chicken treat from mom which tasted the best on weekends and now its just the time to pamper the Mr.Lazy in me....

BK Chowla said...

Weekends was an event we all used to look forward to spending time with the family especially when we used to have the pleasure of joint families.Those days are gone,times have changed.I have seen the old times till the TV took over the social subjects

PURN!MA said...

weekends have changed drastically in our household too. earlier, in schooldays, with elder brother arnd, our weekends were somewhat like urs-homework-play-studies-projects.

Now, it is orkutting, meeting fnds, lethargically clicking the remote, attempting to write blogs... in short, boring!

I miss blowing bubbles, playing cricket and fightin with my brother.

अनिल कान्त : said...

सही कहा आपने ...बचपन के शुक्रवार का अपना भी कुछ ऐसा ही किस्सा रहा है ...और अब सप्ताह के अंतिम दिनों में क्या होता है सब जानते हैं :)

पहले वाला बहुत कुछ याद आता है...यादें हाय वो यादें

Gayathri said...

omg..exactly how i felt..now,when im spending my vacation with metro cousins,who despite having two tv,and two sets of all the toys or whatever,still fight over the 'single' pc,and keep demanding to buy one more,conveniently a lappy..
i think these days kids have very low tolerance levels..not that im some extra patient mother theresa of some distant generation :D..
anyway,nice..reminds me partly of my childhood..and mainly of my parents' nostalgic narrations...
btw,i love vegetable shopping :D

bluebird said...

Hi sujathaji,

As kids, I think me and my peers were just about the last bunch that had a feel of lazy summer-holidays with absolutely nothing on agenda but goofing around all day. Cable TV hadn't invaded our living rooms yet, nor were summer camps and special classes and stuff that I suspect parents these days consider fashionable if not essential to send their kids to. The entire housing colony would become a sort of extended playground, all children being assembled at any one house often all having their lunch too from any one place. I try to talk about those times to my young nephews and nieces living in the city, and I already feel like an old man..

Kavi said...

And who knows, someday, they will be blogging about how their weekends were. And perhaps your lectures would be the ones that they would remember the most !!

Time...and history have a strange way of comming all the way around !

:)

sujata said...

@SJ first let me laugh at the "tukku tukku tukku "thing! ROFL !! Am sure you enjoyed your weekends too SJ what about the crank calls?

@Aparna we did have sat schools but that was much later and then too only alternate saturdays.I remember the sunday movies on B&W TV, but was not much of a fan then, liked the friday chitrahaar though!

@Meira yes, simple and pleasing is the term, now its lavish and boring!! and the complains never cease..

@ZB we are getting old buddy..

@Hopeless Romantic you can't imagine a fri-sat night at home? ahha talk to me in a couple of years!!

@Santanuda, scrabble was a favourite game of mine, and so was ludo and then there were the books, the amar chitra kathas and the mandrakes, the reader's digest and the blytons..there was a library in ever society, and i loved to plant things in our small garden as well. It was great to know about your weekends! And your comments are always cherished.

@Gymnast I am trying hard to make him to read, and to sit in one place for 10 mins at a time..once he achieves these things, I might consider listening to his deprived status.

@Nikki, I agree totally, these days, and maybe its our fault, we just keep loading the kids with whatever they ask for, what we dont give them is our time..The guilt of it, I think makes us spoil them silly.They have two of everything but no one to share it with, I agree completely.

@Shivi wow!! You sound exactly like my husband. They did not have a tv till he went to IIT to study. Its a different matter that hes always glued to the set now..but I guess his parents like yours understood very early the nuisance that the TV is.

@Suraj you are an extremely disciplined person. Weekend food by mom is a different high altogether, But I really admire the way you organise your weekends. Lots to be learnt from you!

@BK Chowla though I didnt have a joint family, but one set of grandparents were with us off and on, there is nothing more precious than the undiluted affection the grandparents can give a child. Weekends without TV seems like weekends from another life now.

@Purnima true indeed, fighting with brother is happening even now though at my house. but the rest is absent

@Anil hai na? I agree, happy to know that I am not alone.

@Gayathri my 21 yr old dear girl! You like vegetable shopping and you think kids these days have low tolerance level, and to top that all you write beautiful poetry..I wish my son was old enough to bring you home!! He is just 6, and I think I have missed the bus!

@bluebird whats with the ji?? when I see most people even from my peer group I feel I am prehistoric, and yet I come across people like you and some others who are so young and yet so sensitive and mature..that I wonder at the term ageless sensibilities.

@KAvi am sure kids today have fun too, its just that my idea of fun is different from theirs. I would love to be thought about and remembered by my kids, even if it is for those ghastly lectures that I give them!

Nazish Rahman said...

Oh yes things have really changed...n so is the entertainment part too. Even in my time we had a lot of outdoor activities..but these days kids are rarely involved in those types. Playing cricket everyday was necessary for me n on sat and sun it meant all day..lol!!
I used to love Fri and wait for it because it meant no school on the next day...but Sun nights i used to hate...reason simple school tomorrow :)!!
These days kids enjoy but i think these days enjoyment are all dependent on money!! These mobile phones are the worst gift that we have got..taken all your privacy in life..lol!!

kavita said...

Sujata...just this evening me and my best friend (a non-blogger) voted you as one of the best blogger i follow....and we were talking over the phone ..that too overseas call.
You really come up with very interesting topics...hey !you are a brilliant thinker who writes with her heart.
Yes.it is true that our kids today have lesser options as far as weekends are concerned.....but i feel that our parents though they were more strict were less controlling in deciding how to spend our leisure time...we were free to ride a bicycle or play as our paras or colonies were a safer place....we try to go outdoors ..can be anything from visiting a temple,a park or just a drive and many a times either inviting a relative or friend for lunch ..if nothing else ,we go and buy groceries together and strangely it turns out to be fun.

Sakshi said...

ROFL at sneeze free distance. Sigh! My son too has started rattling all weird names of video games and play stations which I have no idea about. Huh the only thing that has not changed in my life is the weekend fun. I never get bored on weekends coz we are never at home :). No cooking, no cleaning bas masti..

Weekdays is another story...sobs...only bloggers keep me entertained and if one of my favourite bloggers don't post I feel like my fingers have caught the flu and gone numb :(

Nona said...

I had classes till 12 on Saturdays. So, I never got a 2 day weekend until I was in college!

anamika said...

Well what your kids are doing is what i did in my child hood but yes my parents never complained but now i miss those care free days...

today generation idea of fun has completely changed and due to 100 things available around concentration and focus has diminished which has led to the word called"BORED"

But strange is now i have involved myself in scrabble,chess,swimming reading and writing and i find TV and video game a real pain..
so wait your kids will do the same soon.

anamika said...

Well what your kids are doing is what i did in my child hood but yes my parents never complained but now i miss those care free days...

today generation idea of fun has completely changed and due to 100 things available around concentration and focus has diminished which has led to the word called"BORED"

But strange is now i have involved myself in scrabble,chess,swimming reading and writing and i find TV and video game a real pain..
so wait your kids will do the same soon.

ani_aset said...

the kids i meet do a lot more yar :)
there are these kids in the dance school where i go..and those are the most amazing dancers i have seen

Destiny's child... said...

Even I love fridays. More than the weekend its the wonderful feeling of joy i get on fridays that excites me. i spend the whole of friday evening making big plans on how to spend the weekend. That most or none of it works out is another matter altogether. But the time I spend discussing stuff with my sis on friday, is good enough. Your post brought a smile on my face. Thank you. :)

Balachandran V said...

you have drawn the Urban India Family Portrait. Worse are the fights over the Remote and the appalling ignorance of literature or current events outside the individual's area of interest. Perhaps in our days we had TV and computer and play stations, we too might not have resorted to books and the outdoors. I pity the younger generations!

Double-Dolphin said...

That was a really great read. Thanks for sharing.

SG said...

Nice post. Your description of the weekend when you were kid...ahh... those are fond memories.

Bhavya.B said...

Ohh..your post took me back to my old weekends...playing with friends and finishing a half read story book....later on I had classes even during the weekends. But another enjoyable weekends were during my engineering ...used to run home from hostel even in the mere mention of a weekend.....

The Survivor said...

Your post took me into my future when I would probably have kids of my own.

That was a scary thought knowing how much trouble I have caused!!

Sumandebray said...

Sujata,
You do have a vivid memory of school days. My memory has become a bit blurred of those days. The golden days of my schooling years were standard 9th through 12th.
But of the junior school I do remember that we did not have the 5 days a week fun. Ours were “Shonibar e half, Robibar e maaf: Shombar e bet’er chote Baap re baap!”
These days kids are different … But whatever be the way the present is fun for them…. Not sure how memory of these days they will be able to carry on into their adulthood. As long as they have friends around the memories are sweet!

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Wow, I don't know how you do it, but you've put it all out there perfectly. It's such a different world and I look around at our days flying by and feel a sense of let-down. Like there's this left over unfulfilled potential that we so often do not reach. Some time in this last year we canceled our TV service, sold our two tvs, and mounted one TV monitor in the guest bedroom (out of the way so that it's no longer our focus). I already see my 5 year old's need to play on the computer and we're working to lessen that desire by getting outside more.

These beautiful sunny days of 70-85 degrees and then nice wet nights with a short rain storm won't be around for long. Soon we'll be visited by feet of snow and below zero temps. And my how we'll miss all that we took for granted!

Thank you for writing it so very well! You hit it right on! Hugs to you, Sujata!

eye-in-sty-in said...

hmmmm... agree on what u said.. the concept of enjoyment has changed a lot..... its become commercialized like a lot of other things ....

Babli said...

Very well written. When I was in school during weekend I used to enjoy a lot playing with my brothers and friends, visiting uncle's house etc but hardly used to watch TV.It was a golden time and those days are still fresh in my memory.I enjoy reading your each and every post as it depicts the true fact of life which we all have undergone.

sujata said...

@NR so true. Now many times I feel the kids lose the charm of a new toy the moment they have it in their hands.

@Kavita wow!! I am so glad that you and your friend think so.Thanks to both of you. Another point I remembered now was the spontaneity of people who came over those days, evenings invariably some body or the other would come and there would be simple chats with tea and pakodas, which the kids enjoyed and were a part of. Now its much more formal, no body usually drops in, theres a call first and then there is the formality of parties and dinners, where the kids are usually asked to play in their room.

@Sakshi, I was a big time sneezing machine..they would irritate everybody around me, just couldny stop before 10, so had people counting..and they were these small, polite and very stupid sneezes, achhu, achhu, types hahhaha. I am over them now..thank God. Weekends I must admit, I miss my time on the PC.

@Nona ohh that must be a pain.waking up early on a saturday too!

@Anamika, you give me hope.

@Ani-Aset my daughter goes to a dance school too, and every times she performs, i am awed by her dancing skilss..note that I cant move any part of my body in any kind of synchrony, so no wonder I am amazed. She loves to dance and I am happy she has this school where she can go too, but apart from this there are many more classes that kids nowadays go to just because everybody else isgoing..thats a bit unfair.

Jyothi said...

Sigh! I never had a two day weekend. The Friday off that we did get, generally went in the cleaning and arranging and preparing for the next working day. There was no time to feel bored.

Now my kids, have a two day weekend, and I too hear this word 'boring' in spite of all my efforts to make it otherwise. They have PS2, PSP and Gameboy (and are asking for the latest XBOX). But I ain't giving in this time. They get locked up in my cupboard during school months anyway. Its only for vacations!!!!

Funny, you bought up this topic. I just had the best weekend of my married life!!!

sujata said...

@destiny's child thankyou. planning is so much fun!!

True @Balan, I dont blame the kids, they are just victims of the circumstances around them.

@Double Dolphin thanks


@SG Fond memories indeed.


@Bhavya.B. am happy you revisited the memories.

@Survivor..am sure you can expect trouble then..

@SumanDebRay wow what a chora!! was missing your rhymes for sometime now! I agree as long as there are friends memories will be sweet.

@Shaye the weather seems lovely, am sure you all are making the most of it. Am so inspired by what you have done about the TVs.

@eye-in-sty-in I agree.

@Babli thanks urmi am sure you had a wonderful childhood, want a poem on that now.

sujata said...

@Jyothi what did you do???will you reveal or is it too naughty??

nsiyer said...

Week ends are still something I look for to spend with my family. I just am with them, and wonderful is our home.

deeps said...

thats so very true ...
week ends are something i never looked forward to actually as a student ..
but now, ohh a sunday means wow! wow! wow!

you got colorfully right here

Double-Dolphin said...

Hey Sujata, about Jim Ladd's show Headsets, for the CD, you can purchase it from http://www.jimladdheadsets.com/, or if you’re in the southern California area, you can listen to him live on KLOS 95.5. This is the link to his station http://www.955klos.com/showdj.asp?DJID=1579.

aquariius said...

Hi, your post has encouraged me to share our weekends spent while growing up in Kuwait – I remember a simple time, in school we had a break from 3 to 3.30pm (afternoon shift) and on Wednesdays it meant that as soon as the break started, the weekend was upon us, only 3 more classes to go!

The raucous bus journey on the way home was a carnival like atmosphere with students from classes 5th to 12th participating in the “hangama”, playing games, singing songs and generally being ourselves.

I remember, one year, skateboarding was “the” skill to know, so I spent many weekends (also some week-day evenings! – which went really great with my mom, as u can imagine! ) with my friends falling, sliding, slipping and yes, sometimes skating :) fun times, warm evenings, bunch of kids and no cares in the world...

Deeps said...

oh yes,sujata those were the days!I miss those days too.

"there was a play ground and a few other kids, and we played everything from 'house-house ' to 'catch me if you can'."...yes and we used to say 'dhappa' instead of 'eye-spies'!did you also play 'stone-gallery' and kho-kho on the streets?it was so much fun,na?

now it has changed so much.and here I've always felt kids dont get as much outdoor exposure as hey do back home..the playing and getting dirty in the mud,those long evening walks after dinner...ah bliss!!

those so much for this nostalgia,Sujata!

sujata said...

@nsiyer weekends are great if they are fun!

@Deeps thanks for sharing.

@Double Dolphin will chk out asap!thanks

@Aquarious, wow that was a nice tid bit from your childhood days. I hope you come up with your blog soon, you have a great way of expression, make some time and lets see your blog.. I could see you and all your friends on that bus ride home!!

@Deeps we played it all dhappa, kho-kho, icepice, lock and key, rem that, and it was even more fun if the current went, all of us would gather out and start off, we were so carefree. I cant imagine letting my daughter doing so now, I would be too paranoid.

aquariius said...

hi sujata, thanks for the encouraging words, very kind of you.
actually, starting a blog is not the problem...maintaining it regularly is another story u see :) have a nice day!

अनिल कान्त : said...

प्रिय सौम्य,
आपके बारे में जानकर बहुत अच्छा लगा...वो सब स्थान, खाना पीना, फिल्में और जो कुछ भी आपने अपने और मम्मी के बारे में बताया...जानकर बहुत अच्छा लगा

toshali said...

holidays I luvvvvvvv holidays they mean waking up late having bread or maggi insteand of the "boring"cornflakes and .....and .....wait a min nowdys holidays also mean study.study.and.study ....homework......homework .and more homework argh!!!!!!!life's soooooo boring when u have to study everyday.........:)

to said...

+ everytime

Indrani said...

:)
I love the way you relate the daily stuffs... brings a smile... really!