Hello! My name is Pranav Khemka and I am a freshman, studying Bioengineering Hello! My name is Aarohi, I am a freshman, and I am also studying Bioengineering Hello! My name is Shryans. I am also a freshman, and I am studying Computer Science Hello! My name is Arjit and I am a second year student here at Jones Graduate School of Business We welcome you to Season 2 of Vaartaa From now onwards, we will call it a ‘Videocast’ and not a ‘Podcast’ Because people were getting pretty confused If this was a podcast, they weren’t sure from where to stream it, and where to find the audio files. So for this reason from today, we will call this a ‘Videocast’ So, let us see what our topic is for today “Our experiences growing up” So, let us begin. Arjit? Our experiences growing up in India, how we were brought up So, my family, we… I’m from a small town, I’m from Ajmer I have (generally) spent most of my years in Ajmer So my family was a nuclear family, not a joint family My mother, father, two elder sisters, it was a very normal Indian household That is how I was raised, going to school, coming back from school, playing cricket in the evening, and watching TV at night, and fighting with my siblings over the remote Much like that, it was a normal upbringing My family is a little different because my father was in a transferrable job so, many a time we moved cities I have spent most years in Ajmer, but my elder sister has lived in multiple places. I too have lived in 7 or 8 different cities We moved around a lot, so I have made many new friends, and left behind many old friends So… these were some things about my childhood So my upbringing was quite similar I spent the first few years living in Delhi So in Delhi our house was in a small area, so the people living there formed a close community So, if you ever wanted salt, you could just (borrow it), If you wanted sugar, you could (borrow it) So I’ve done all of that But I think that was a typical Indian area It was very average household, like most households in India and it was good, I liked it because then after I came home from school in the evening (when I was young), come back from the school, then I would go and play cricket in the alleys, we would play cricket we’ve broken some windows, all of this was common but It was like that But when I got older, we moved to a larger area there were bungalows there separate bungalows So that sense of community, that existed previously in the smaller area that was missing, and in general I think that currently in cities, in India’s cities, this is a common trend that people move into larger houses, so the same amount of community is not there but it is still present, if you go to the small areas of the cities, where people aren’t as affluent so, there even now, people live together, and survive together, so that is my experience Um…I too, like you, am from a very small family I don’t have any siblings, it’s just me So.. we used to live in Bangalore and I was born and brought up there We’ve lived in one apartment So, there I’ve lived a very average life but it was very… I had many small joys and now, I miss them a lot when I was there, I didn’t know that… my life was so colourful, but after coming here I miss my old life a lot, all of those things, such as, I used to live in an apartment. So on my floor, my neighbours, one of them was Tamilian, and one was Malyali, and my family is Marathi so these three cultures and their intermingling and all of us, we would celebrate the different festivals with each other So every year I celebrated Onam, which is a Malyali festival we would make a Rangoli in the building and I would eat the food, and my life has been very colorful, and at home we would celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, and sometimes, in the morning, I’d go to my Tamil neighbour’s house and pray So, these have been very important parts of my upbringing …growing up. So my case is slightly different, because I was born into quite a large family, so four generations lived in one house. So me, my parents, my paternal grandparents, and my great-grandfather and great-grandmother So, I… lived with them all There also used to be my father’s brother, his children, So together we were twelve. So twelve of us lived together, in one house So, in my childhood there has been a lot of mischief Did mischief ‘happen’ or did you ‘do’ mischief? I…mischievous things have happened to me [Arjit]: Ah, okay [Pranav]: So, I am an only child, but my father’s brother has a child, Ankit, who I refer to as my older brother So he used to do a lot of mischief He would… So he had this gun…that air gun you get, if you shoot it, small pellets come out, and they remain on the ground, everywhere So, he kept shooting that and I was a small child so I would walk around and eat the pellets, around the house [Arjit]: Ohh!
[Shryans]: You ate them completely? Yea, I’d just eat them, but then my mother found out, and she caught me, she scolded my brother
[Shryans]: You got beaten up… [Pranav]: Oh no, I didn’t get beaten up, but…
[Shryans]: Ya, beaten in the sense… Yes, so a lot of mischief went on… and I had friends too in my building So, that building was quite small, it was located between a shopping center, so There was no ground on which we could play, or cycle, or play cricket So we would play cricket in the corridor of the buildings. Box Cricket, [Arjit]: Box Cricket?
[Pranav]: We’d made rules for Box Cricket If you touch the ball, you’ll get one run, and you can hit a four, and if the ball goes directly, then you are out…so we would come up with these small rules and play But then, after five or six years, we moved into a slightly larger house, just me and my parents and in that building, there was more space, so I could go downstairs and cycle, I began to cycle a lot [Arjit]: I just saw your display picture a while ago [Pranav]: Ya, so I still really like cycling I’ve broken a lot of bones, falling here and there [Arjit]: Oh, okay! So, I had a lot of fun in my childhood, I would play cricket too, I’ve broken a lot of windows and where we used to play, there would be quite a lot of cars parked there, so when we played cricket, the ball would go and hit the cars. Nothing broke! No glass broke, no dent was formed, nothing happened! [Arjit]: But still one uncle came and scolded you. [Pranav]: Yes! Uncle and Aunty! From the fourth floor they opened the window, and would look down (and would say) “Hey children what are you playing, the car will get hit by something!”- and then they would remove us from the building, they would tell us to not play in certain places, but we would still resume playing there, after five minutes had passed This, I think, has been a common experience in India: being chased from the park while playing cricket This has happened with everyone [Shryans]: Yes, always
[Arjit]: In fact I had gone to Rourkee, to do my undergrad, and there was a designated space (to play) it was a park, and people play cricket or whatever there, but nearby there are the faculty’s houses, so anyone can come anytime and refuse to let you play, saying “This is not the time”, when there is no… That place is designated for playing! [Pranav]: Exactly!
[Arjit]: This happens a lot in India! Any uncle or aunty can come from anywhere and remove you from where you are playing [Pranav]: Yes, and there is a lot of drama
[Aarohi]: Yes They say, “No, you should not play here, there is a lot of noise, we want to walk here. Please don’t play here”. Hey! We’re children! Where else would we play? We can’t play in the building, we can’t play in the ground, and we definitely cannot play on the road. [Arjit]: And the reasons given are that the grass will get spoiled! And plants! And trees! There is a tree growing there, and they say it will get spoiled. I don’t understand how a tree can get spoiled If I hit a small ball at it. Trees will get spoiled There were a lot of weird reasons why we couldn’t play But, I actually lived near the beach! [Arjit]: Oh!
[Pranav]: Yes, Juhu Beach, that’s what it’s called [Arjit]: Ah, Juhu Beach [Pranav]: So, I would go there in the evening with my grandmother. Juhu Beach is …a beach. There is a lot of space there, so we would play cricket there, or we would eat candyfloss there There were a lot of things to do, so in my childhood I just kept having fun, the entire time. Have you ever been scolded? [Shryans], [Arjit]: A lot!
[Aarohi]: HOW MUCH have you been scolded? Getting scolded and growing up in India is very… [Arjit]: It’s synonymous So for every little thing they scold me and stop me but, now I look back and I think that it is now a part of me, I have gotten a lot of scoldings, and that has brought me where I am. Whatever I have done has been because of that… it has just been the effects of the scoldings that have brought us here But at the time you feel bad, you feel why do my parents keep scolding me? They only scold me, am I not their child? But, now I feel that, yes, scoldings, after coming here, firstly I miss my parents a lot, so then I say “Okay, scold me a little scold me, it’ll feel good” But, yes, I got scolded a lot, for every little thing. You tell us, Aarohi, you asked us the question, you definitely have some story to tell. I, I was a very good girl. I never did any sort of mischief. But I was a very odd child, I feel, I don’t know what I would think and what I would do One time, I… when I was very small- not very, maybe I was around seven or eight, I had read the Harry Potter books, and I love books a lot, and I was very involved in that world, I was lost in that world So Harry Potter is a magical world, and in there people make a potion, called Polyjuice Potion, and when you drink that, people can change from one person to another. So, I thought, one day, that I wanted to make Polyjuice Potion So, my parents weren’t at home so I took some spices and there was some dust, and paints, and I procured things from here and there, and I, there was a glass and in there, I mixed it all. Now Polyjuice Potion needs some hair or something too So, I thought I would cut my own hair, but I didn’t cut the hair from my head, I cut it from my eyebrow. So my mother came home, and there was a mess everywhere and I was missing half an eyebrow! and… and…my mother her first reaction was “What happened!? Has someone broken in, made some noise, what’s the matter! What have you done?” But then I explained to her what I did Did you drink the Polyjuice Potion? No! I did not drink it. Thank God! NOBODY drank it? No, no one, it was still there. Then I told my mother and then she got very angry, and said “Don’t touch the scissors” So for one year, I was not allowed to use a scissor Because my mother thought “Who knows what she will do with it- if she cuts something else, we don’t want that problem. So I was not allowed to use a scissor. I learnt to cut paper using a ruler. [Arjit]: My… I would also play with scissors as a child, and the biggest reason my mother has scolded me has been that I used to cut the bedsheets with a scissor. When I first learnt how to hold and use a scissor, I began to cut all the bedsheets in the house… I would just cut them, because they have patterns on them, the patterned bedsheets, so I’d cut out flowers, [Arjit]: I’ve done a lot of that. I have ruined a lot of brand new bedsheets. I’ve gotten scolded a lot, for that. Me too, I mean, I’ve been scolded a lot, but not for such big things, but Yeah, so I would go downstairs to play, and at seven or seven thirty, my mother would call from the window upstairs, “Cookie, come upstairs”- she’d call me Cookie – so “Cookie, come upstairs, dinner is ready.” and I would say, “Ya, ya, I’ll come in five minutes” and then again, I’d say “Yes, yes, I’ll come in five minutes, wait, I’ll come in two minutes.” Adding these five minutes, one hour had passed, then every night my mother would… this became a common occurence. So every night my mother would scold me, she’d scold me and call me, saying “You never come”, and she’d start yelling at me from upstairs, then my friends too would begin looking, so I’d say “Okay, I’m going, bye”, then I’d go upstairs and get scolded some more, but then, I mean, I would just play, I was a child after all, so she wouldn’t scold me that much. This would happen with me a lot as well, when I would go downstairs to play in the evening. So, my parents would say “Come up at seven, because it gets dark at seven.”- so for safety purposes. What safe I don’t know, everything is safe, but they’d say “No, come up”. So, what I would do is that I would never come up at seven. I would change the time on my watch, so my watch is showing seven, but actually, it’s 7:15, or 7:20. And then I would go home and my parents would open the door a crack and say “Look at what the time is! We told you to come at seven, it is fifteen past 7 now.” and they’d say “Now if you don’t want to come home, don’t.” I would say “What? My watch shows seven, let me in.” So then all this (went on) [Arjit]: The watch isn’t going ahead, it’s stuck at seven! [Aarohi]: So then, they gave up a bit, and would say, come back when you want, but remain safe.” so, I… Which… I’m remembering all the games we used to play as children, which we used to invent ourselves, which were not real games, but in India, they are very popular, like I remember, ‘Satoliya’- has anyone played it? There are seven stones, one on top of another
[Shryans]: Uppitu, we would call it Ubbitu. [Arjit]: Everyone would call it different things.
[Shryans]: They call it Ubbitu.
[Arjit]: Ya, so we would call it Satoliya, in Rajasthan, we would stack seven stones on top of each other, get a ball, a tennis ball, and make teams. Everyone would stand around and there would be one striker who would aim at the stones The stones that have fallen, the person in the team who was a ‘dam’- we called it ‘dam’… is that a word?
[Shryans]: Oh those stones, like we would hit the ball on the stones, the stones would all fall, and one team, they would try to put back the stones, and the other team would get the ball and aim at the other people. If the ball comes into your hand, you cannot run, you must aim from there. [Aarohi]: Yes.
[Arjit]: Do you remember the games, which games existed, in our different regions? There was a game called Melting Candle I don’t know if you… basically, it was running and catching, but when… there was one ‘denner’.
[Arjit]: Yes, den.
[Aarohi]: Yes, den. [Arjit]: This word is very popular, I don’t know if it is English or Hindi, where it has come from
[Aarohi]: We don’t know where it has come from, ‘den’ So, the den would go around and catch people, and when you get caught, you need to melt. Basically you need to keep going lower like this, and another person, who hasn’t been caught yet, [Shryans]: Yes, like Ice and Water
[Aarohi]: Yes, like freeze. [Shryans]: It’s like you began to freeze… [Arjit]: Ah… Ice and Water, I have played it. [Aarohi]: So, we would play that a lot. In our apartment complex, many children would just be melting! And people would ask “What are you doing?” They’d say “I’m melting” “Okay… go ahead and melt.” Yes, we too had many games we used to play. Saapli, have you played it?
[Arjit]: Saapli? Describe it, I may know it by another name.
[Pranav]: So one person is a ‘denner’, and everyone else is running, uh… then that denner goes and catches one person. So suppose you get caught, you must hold hands and then catch everyone else. So like this it becomes a long line at the end, and the last person left wins the game.
[Arjit]: Yes, I have played this, I had forgotten the name.
[Aarohi]: Some chain… [Pranav]: Ya, we would call it Saapli. Games like this we would play a lot as children, the name was a really weird one, “Horse something… ditch… look behind and get hit” it’s something like that. In that, they’d make all the children sit in a circle, and there would be one person, who would take a handkerchief and run behind the circle, [Shryans]: Ya, he would drop it.
[Arjit]: and would drop it behind someone, and if after dropping it he runs one round completely and returns, perhaps, and the person behind whom he drops it doesn’t realize it, then he becomes the denner, he will keep running around. And the ‘den’ will only get over when you complete one round. And what would happen? Something like this would happen. [Shryans]: I understood!
[Arjit]: You can’t look behind, I don’t know what rules there were. We used to have a lot of fun. In our childhood, we used to play it when we were very small. Five or six years of age. This was there, and then there was Ludo. Ludo is always there. I don’t know, here, Snakes and Ladders and Ludo, here… Snakes and Ladders probably exists here,
[Pranav]: Snakes and Ladders is there. [Shryans]: But Ludo, that’s not there. Ludo is a different kind of fun. And, Ludo, and what else, these were all childhood games. [Arjit]: In our childhood, how did you all go to school- what was your mode of transport? Would you go by auto- a lot of children would sit in one auto, or cab? How would you go to school?
[Shryans]: I had a bus that would come. [Pranav]: School Bus
[Aarohi]: Ya, bus.
[Shryans]: But I understand, what you are trying to say, a lot of children, go in an auto [Arjit]: Yes, I understand now, this means that the country is developing. Now everyone’s school bus comes. Before that, we would go in one small auto ten people together [Pranav]: Yes I have seen that
[Arjit]: We would go to school like that I do not know how they fill up that auto, how do they breathe?
[Arjit]: It’s very difficult, but [Arjit]: the children are happy, the auto-driver is happy, and somehow the parents are also happy. Although the child is hanging out, half outside, they don’t mind. [Arjit]: Ya… but our childhood was a lot of fun. Very…colorful like you said. We used to have fun, we miss those things now, Anyone else? [Pranav]: No… [Arjit]: Any stories? I mean childhood was all this, a lot of mischief and fun. We used to go downstairs and play, outside we used to be outdoors a lot. But then as time went on, we began to stay at home more, because the grounds started closing down, even in the building there was little space, it all became parking lots. So, then, playing downstairs, was reduced a bit. For me, atleast. Alright, with this let us finish this podcast. Thanks to all of you for watching! Goodbye!