Phantom cigarettes, pepsi cola, 2 Rupee cycle rides, circus, 5 rupee balcony ticket, candies made out of saunf.....
Such were the pleasures of growing up in the 80s. Mahatma Gandhi was still sacred and 15th August and 26th January meant someting (thanks to DD indoctrination). I remember we had a peon who would go from class to class in our school with a circular (it would mean wither a holiday or sports day or an announcement of competitions to celebrate 'Days' Teacher's Day, Republic day, independence day etc.
We collected stamps, coins, 'storyboks". We actually made an activity out of exchanging these three and well.. the fun was in getting in exchange something that was of more value than what you gave to your friend. It was a generation that grew on Uncle Pai's Amar Chitra Katha and that cost Rs. 2.50 then. Looking back 2.50 could buy you a 'story book'. Now the same series costs 10 times the price. 2.50 also bought you a packet of Britannia bread. It came in a distinct wax like wrapper. We cleaned the wrappers and kept it under the bed to smooth the creases. Similarly the brown paper bag that groceries came in too were cut along the folds and went under the matresses to be used for covering books. I took pride in telling my friends that we didn't need to buy a roll of brown paper or labels. We never had fancy bags- backpacks that we in vogue now were used to trekking. I remember the simple postman type bags that usually came in military green or a hideous ochre colour and weren't water proof as a result of which going to school in the rains meant we had to wrap our books in plastic. Those were the days of rain coats and gum boots and plastic sandals that we used for years and also repaired if need be.
My daughter thinks I lived in another age. And that is so true. We played Lagori, dodgeball, viti Dandoo....and marbles how can anyone forget marbles and least of all me- i spent a fortune on marbels and lost them all in little games- my sindhi neighbout always won. He put the marbles he won in milk bags for all us losers to see. I never won and he never lost. I stopped playing the game one day. We played "Dabba ice-spice" I don't know if this was the word thought it certainly sounded like that; or maybe its Dabba aispaice or Dabba I spy. No one was rich and if somebody was then confirmed to what was the norm or he was literally ostracised. I think rich kids didnt have it easy then. We played house minus the barbies, we learnt how to ride the cycle by renting one for an hour for 2 bucks. We ate ice cream candies- Kwality ice candy for 2 bucks. It came in a blue and white striped wrapper (which we again washed and dried and away they went under the matress)
Looking at the idea of fun now and then it really staggers me. I think we had it good and I really dont mind reliving my childhod.