Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My Missing Childhood

This morning I woke up out of my bed and suddenly felt cheated and was at once upset and disappointed in my parents. See, the more I am in India and the more I think about it, I realize I was robbed, starved if you will, from a fantastic childhood and it is only now that I am beginning to see the errors of my parents’ ways, as though the power outage of my youth is over and I can see things now for the first time.

My dad never walked into the house, beaming after coming home from the office, telling the whole family to go outside with that “I’ve got a little secret” tone in his voice that would have us anxiously waiting until the commercial break of “I Dream of Jeannie” when we would run outside, temporarily jamming each other in the doorway to see what all the excitement was about. There was never a brand new, shiny late-model elephant parked in the driveway that would pick us up by her trunk and place us gently on her back, inciting giggles from my sisters and I that we would take to the drive-in restaurant where roller skating waitresses would bring us our curry burgers and masala shakes. There were no proud moments of pulling up to the school, climbing off our new ride amidst ooohs and aaahs of adoration and jealousy while at the same time stepping on all those that annoyed us. There would be no show-and tell fame, no midnight mud frolics with Mrs. Jumbo or even failed attempts at teaching her to fly by flapping her ears. I did, of course make up for that by teaching my youngest sister to walk around flapping her big ears, but that is another blog, which you can read here.

Like all the kids on our highly suburban and primary colored block, we got loads of pets which we proceeded to neglect, forget to walk or feed and at times, we even forgot their names. But who can blame us? Who wants a furry, cuddly kitten or a happy little puppy bouncing around, who is so happy to see you he pees on the floor? No wonder we lost interested. It wasn’t as if it was an Orangutan or anything remotely interesting like that. I would have settled for an Indian Rock Python, but my parents weren’t having it. Something about it eating my little sister. I still don’t see the logic (or the problem, actually) in that argument, but they continue to stick to their story in self defense.

So no matter how glossy my childhood may have appeared to the uneducated onlooker, it was an empty, dull place and I question if it was actually a place for a child at all.

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