My childhood days were filled with fun and laughter, like those of most children. We lived in a big house with my paternal grandparents and my uncle’s family. Though I had an elder brother, I was closer to my cousins. My elder brother was a serious type who didn’t want to hang out with girls.
He had a face like a magistrate too which could really intimidate me. My cousins were a couple of years younger than me and we got along like a house on fire. I was also very close to my aunt. As my mother was a doctor, she was hardly around most of the time.
My aunt was a housewife and she looked after me as well. In fact, only if she accompanied me, I would go to the nursery. She could sing well and was a great storyteller. I used to envy my cousins so much for having a mother like her.
My grandfather was a forbidding figure and we children as well as our parents were afraid of him. He was a powerful man who moved among rich and influential people. When he was at home we had to keep quiet and see that we did not disturb him. But he was fond of us in his own way.
There was a room on the third storey of our use which was our play room. Here my cousins and I used to spend many a lazy afternoon playing games and plucking mangoes and jamba from tree branches close to the windows. Or we would slide down the banisters, one after the other.
Every year the entire family went on a vacation to some place. It was even more fun then. One thing I remember vividly about my childhood is my reluctance to go to school. Every day I would make some new excuse to stay away until my father had to come and spank me. I also remember the succession of tuition teachers who came to teach me Math.
I was very fond of one, an Anglo-Indian called Eva. She was very pretty and kind. But the happiness ended when my uncle left for another city to take up a new job. My aunt and cousins also left and it became quite lonely after they went away.