Thursday, December 10, 2009

And we were O.K.

Received this via email I am not sure who the author is.. it may not even have originated from an Indian but yet I am sure most of us can relate to it.. so with due respect to the creator and with additions of my own in italics…

To all the wonderful kids who were born in India , grew up in the 60's,70's and 80's and survived :

First, we survived being born to mothers, some, whose husbands smoked and/or drank while they carried us.

They took aspirin, ate whatever food was put on the table, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

They were mothers who did not check their blood pressure every few minutes. (mine didn’t)

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking or going out on our own. (nd all those longs walks up the mountains and along the streams with none to guide but just the dogs)

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags. [Our car would have been the most rickety since it had to go through the terrible tea estate roads. Needless to mention that only an Ambassador was built for it. Thinking about it now, I still cannot believe that my Father, instead of repairing the door which would not close [the mechanics had already closed shops after our late night movie] asked me to faithfully hold onto it while driving up a 20 km long treacherous mountainous road (Mundakayam to Kuttikanam)… I dont remember my Father looking back even once to see if I was still there! And recently when I mentioned this to him he feigned ignorance:) ]

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. (ahh the water was the purest!)

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. (dint we all? and most still do…)

We would share a dosa, dip a chapatti into someone else's plate of curry without batting an eyelid. (I hope the current generation still enjoys this)

We ate jam sandwiches or pickle on bread and butter, raw mangoes with salt (& chilly powder) and drank orange squash with sugar and water in it.

We ate at roadside stalls, drank water from tender coconuts, ate everything - Bhel Puri to bhajias and samosas, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! (there was no dearth of games.. we made games out of nothing…but now the kids can have all the PS$.. and still be bored)

We would leave home in the morning and play all day during the holidays, we were never ever bored, and we were allowed freedom all day as long as we were back when the streetlights came on, or when our parents told us to do so. No one was able to reach us all day by mobile phone or phone. (those were the days!)

And we were O.K.

We swam with an inflated tube which we got from somebody who was replacing their car tyres.

We ran barefoot without thinking about it, if we got cut we used iodine on it which made us jump. We did not wash our hands ten times a day. (Wash hands?)
And we were OK.

We did not have parents who said things like "what would you like for breakfast, lunch or dinner".

We ate what was put in front of us and best of all, there was never any leftovers. (but now we have to push and prod them to eat..)

We fell out of trees numerous times, got cut, broke bones and teeth. (We jumped from one tree to another and my younger sister was the leader!)

We ate fruit lying on the ground that we shook down from the tree above. (and how tasty those were!)And we never washed the fruit.

We had a bath using a bucket and mug. We did not know what shampoo and conditioners meant.

Yet this generation of ours has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

Please pass this on to others who have had the luck and good fortune to grow up as kids in India in the 60's 70's and 80's.


  1. Hi Friend ur doing an excellent work.. Can we exchange links...

  2. How very... Yeah, I did most of these things myself and I'm still ok after nearly 3 decades of existence. Possibly the parents are becoming over-protective and the society is teaching them so. That must be the seepage of the Western elements where everything goes acc to the book and any slight deviation is a goddamn error!

  3. Even I received a version of the mentioned email but it wasn't so detailed. I think the sharing food part with friends still exits, luckily. And it is true that we were never bored even if we did not have umpteen cartoon channels, PSP's, computer games etc. "I am bored" is the common refrain of kids nowadays during holidays. Great post!

  4. Even I have received a similar mail

  5. We drank water from the garden hose ... ohhhh u said it.....even we also grown up like that only....don't know when did i stop drinking that...feel sorry about current generation..

    I remember till 12th we used share our food(even girls and guys from same friend circle)

    Olden days our grand parents used ask us to play barefoot in our parambu(recentily read some where it is very good to prevent lot of life style diseases.But now a days if we do the same , we will get a lot of creepy viruses)

    Forget about all the inventions , innovations .we are sending peoples to mars,moon and all But still we are incapable to cure AIDS , cancer and all ..sighh

    anyways such a thought provoking post..thanks for sharing here

  6. Sigh !Those were the days !...and, indeed, we were Ok....come to think of it, the world then was OK too. No effluent poisoned water, emission poisoned air or irradiated earth ; no broken homes or prowling paedophiles ; More trees , less vehicles ; more time, less pressure.......Its a changed scenario now. But, i guess our children too will learn to cope and manage with the world we have given them.

  7. It feels like it is I who wrote this.
    Those were the days... We have lost touch with nature...

  8. Interesting write-up! I can certainly relate to this!

  9. We did have it more simple and innocent didn't we?
    We've taught our kids not to drink 'unsafe' water and we won't take risks either. Progress!!
    Nice post. Specially about hanging on to the Ambassdor car door.

  10. Good post.

    Most of the things seem similar to me. I hope I was few centuries in front of you.
    But still I had experienced them.


  11. Vijay: thanks.. and why not?

    Scorpio: Guess we have to slow down for the sake of the next generation..

    Dreamer: Now one can easily get bored and it is not just the kids :)

    BKC: guess this email has been making rounds and lifting spirits..

    Anish: yes.. the kids of today are missing a lot.. even they have the same old parampu they just dont have the time for it... the school sylabus plus the life style has changed so much that we find only a few kids outside their homes..

    Yosee:Yes our children need to adjust but then I do wonder if it is worth it all... sometimes I do feel guilty for not being able to give them the simple pleasures...

    Vinod: yes.. we have lost touch with nature...

    Manju: yes.. someone did think abt it deeply enough to write this..

    Kallu: yes..even we are afraid to take risks and pass the same fears to our children...ahh.. the Ambassador car did make us go mad eventhough Father had his Enfield to take him arnd the 1000 plus acres.. most of our trips have ended up at the Mechanic's place :) we have even slept in the car all night.. nd that would be another story!

    Abhi: Centuries! now u make me even more miserable :)

  12. What a great list, and all so true! When, why and how did we become so paranoid about everything?

  13. Kamini: Yes.. those days were indeed great... nd for the sake of progress we have given up much..

    We are paranoid for everything since we have now lost trust in everything..


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