Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Amul's orange flavored milk chocolate and Hot-Wheels cars

It was mention of chocolate which sparked the thought process in my mind about the reminiscences of childhood. And the chocolate which flashed in my mind was Amul's orange flavored milk chocolate. I am not sure if Amul still makes it or not. But when we were kids, my sister and I, we used to have that a lot. Fruit&Nut and Orange. Amul was the best! There are so many things which give you a thrill when you feel them in the present and they never fail to revive your memories when later you remember them and think how special it was to you at that time.

The most exciting were those toy model cars which papa used to buy for me. They were called hot-wheels and believe me, they were really 'hot' at that time! And my fascination for cars was just too intense when I was a kid. Toy cars and guns. They were like a passion for me. And on birthdays, I would always expect that I will get one such! But even without birthdays, my father used to get them for me. In all shapes and colors! Mostly I remember the red ones. The sports type cars. And also those fire trucks! Machine guns and pistols. There was also a yellow colored bus which was my favorite just because it was so big! And once or twice I remember one of my aunts got one red colored racer car for me from US. And that was such an exciting moment for me! I have a pic with that car in my hand and an ebullient wide smile on my face. As if saying, 'look! I have the fastest car within my reach'.

After those days, my liking turned to cricket bat and ball. I wanted a branded cricket bat and papa knew it. One birthday, he took me to a sports good shop and got that bat for me. I think it had 'Power' written on it and in those days, Kapil Dev used to advertise for this brand. It was an amazing feeling. Getting a branded bat and that too from an authentic sports goods shop! And almost every month I used to buy balls. One kind or the other. I have a big collection of different balls at home. They include Tennis balls, Rubber balls, Ping-pong and so on. And ya, my favorite ones where those small rubber balls which were called 'crazy balls' which used to bounce a lot. They were made of hard rubber and were solid. I mean they were not hollow from inside. I was so fond of them. I broke our tv cabinet glass with one such ball one day and incurred wreath from my mom! I was really scared to see the glass shatter!

I was not much for clothing when I was a kid. But one thing I remember is a white shirt which my mom and papa got me. It was this crisp cotton, immaculate white, full sleeves and the Polo symbol on it. It would remain my favorite piece for long time to come.

My first bicycle was also one gem of a thing. I can't remember the name of it but it was pretty much 'in' those days. It was black-green colored stylish thing and so light weight! I remember the first ride on it was so thrilling. As if I were riding a Harley Davidson!

During school days, I think I am talking about secondary schooling days, Saturday afternoons were most awaited! Because we used to get comic books. Papa would buy us lots and lots of comic books and mostly on Saturdays because of weekend. All those Indian super-heroes. If you remember Captain Dhruv, Nagraj, Chacha Chaudhrey and so on! I can't explain how enthusiastically I used to wait for those comics. And would read slowly for the fear of finishing them before quickly!

New school bags, first Milton's water bottle, new note books, plastic covers for books, labels, those starry-jazzy stickers for notebook covers, erasers with fragrance and colors, new wax colors, board games... All these things which sound trivial today were of great importance to me as a kid! And birthday was always a special day when I would anticipate the whole previous day about what I was going to get next day.

And the most recent thrill was getting my first cell phone. LG 3070 with a flap and 65k colors. Silver color and dual color display. I got this when I joined my first job. It was one of the most beautiful phones on earth according to me and I bought it without caring much about the features and functionalities. And it was pretty much costly too. But what mattered to me was it looked dazzlingly pretty! I used it for two years and still it has not lost its charm. I miss it here in US though.

Things have changed quite a lot. I don't know if it is because of maturity or self-reliance or something else. I wasn't excited about my new bike here! It was just a routine thing. More shocking was my total lack of interest in the new phone that I bought. Though this is the phone which used to be one of my dream phones back in India, it is not so exciting anymore. It is 'just another' phone! A 12 dvd Lord of the Rings set is no more exciting than a bunch of diamond comic books. A new laptop is not as charming as the first monophonic tape recorder. Neither is Hershey's chocolate bar as tasty as Amul's orange flavored milk chocolate.

Things in the past always look beautiful. I asked a friend why. The answer was, 'your mind doesn't want to remember the things which are not beautiful'. I couldn't help but agree.

[Image Source: http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/merchandise/miniature/hotwheels.jpg]