This lockdown and staying at home every day has its own challenges. We seem busier than ever. Our faithful staff works so hard. There are trials with networks. The tsunami of daily news overwhelms us to the hilt.

The nations are in a tizzy. What ‘s happening to our world?

Just the other day, I sat back and reminisced…

I remember the days when we were free. I mean really free. Where there was no fear about getting sick and no one ever thought of death. Coughs and colds, measles and chicken pox, mumps and fevers were so common. We had them all and shared those willingly with our friends. But so were the household remedies that went with them, where mothers got together and doses us with infernal things.

I lived opposite the zoo in Bombay.

We played in the dirt. Scraped our knees and elbows nearly every other day. I remember fiddling with a beehive and have not forgotten the memories of various stings all over my hands and face. The patience of my grandfather pulling out those stings with his precious tweezers, had me yelling to glory.

Then iodine! My gosh. It was better to fall and to get scraped all over than to face the onslaught of our wounds washed with boric acid in hot water and topped with iodine. The most dreaded times of our lives! And then I cannot forget our Saturdays. Instead of enjoying a good holiday we were subject to the torture of castor oil, and then sometimes the bitter ‘chiraita’ that I thought was grown specially for us on the outskirts of hell. All for the cleaning of our stomachs. But truthfully, I have never ever remembered a stomachache.

Hey, we grew up tough. Fought our own battles. Dealt with our own problems. Made our own friends. Led our own ‘gangs’ and had great fun wherever we went.

You know we did not need money. We did not need toys…we made them! We became innovative. We invented our own games, took up our own challenges. Caught lizards. Fell from trees, nearly drowned in a lake, pulled quills from porcupines, bathed elephants, irritated a camel who hit one of us with his head, and went horse riding nearly every day.

School was amazingly the best time of my life. I made some great friends. They are grandfathers today and we talk about the hell we raised during class time. The Principal’s stick from time to time, was a very common attachment to our behinds! We bore the pain and smiled fake smiles to show how ‘tough’ we were.

College was enterprising. We learnt to smoke pot. Pull chillums. Play guitars. Sing songs. And enjoy each other’s company.

I don’t remember studying. But I passed. Thank God.

The best was when Jesus stepped into my life. He changed me. I became a man.

You know what…I still study…man! I still study. But I study about Who I love the most. My Jesus, my Bible and I am challenged not only to walk in His ways but to tell others of that glorious life I live now.

Hey! We raised hell. We hollered. We screamed. We danced. We sang. We went crazy. We made others crazy…but…dear sir…we were free!

It was worth it. Better than any lockdown we are going through.