1. Naach Basanti!
Whenever anyone dropped by, no matter how new they were to us, we were paraded around like show ponies. It didn’t matter if the child suffered from acute shyness, parents would always nudge them and say, “Beta, poem sunao Uncle ko” or “Beta, woh dance dikhao jo tum karte ho”. Then, when most of us failed at this demonstration, they’d say, “Pata nahi abhi kyun nahi ho raha hai. Waise to bahut achche se karta hai.”
2. Usko Dekho!
Comparisons with siblings, cousins and neighborhood kids were the norm. Every time we goofed up as kids, we’d be told that we should be more like so-and-so who never does anything wrong or embarrassing. Of course, this wasn’t true at all, but you couldn’t point that out.
3. Koi bahana nahi!
It usually did not matter to parents if their child was really good at something or not, they’d still have to participate in talent contests and school competitions. Whether it was dancing, singing, acting or elocution, most of us got pushed to stand on stage only to understand that “knees knocking together” isn’t just an expression.
4. Koi sharam nahi hai!
Parents rarely spared a thought for their children’s feelings. Any person who they met would be told about their kid’s bladder control or other embarrassing issues, and solutions would be asked for. God forbid if that person also had a child with them because then there was a big chance of everyone in school knowing about your bed-wetting problems.
5. Thapad maar dena!
Nowadays parents wouldn’t do this but earlier, every teacher, neighbor and random adult would be told to discipline us if they caught us misbehaving. This was a seriously bad move because some adults would view children playing cricket near their house as “misbehavior” and let the kid have it.
6. Main hoon na?
Then there were those times when parents took you with them while they shopped and forgot you in some shop. Okay so children do have a bad habit of wandering around while their mothers look at sari after sari, but really! The terror one experienced when one looked around and realized that they were alone was godawful. And to top it off, this was usually not a lone incident. Next week, they’d forget you somewhere else again!
7. Yaad rakhunga tumhe!
Once in a while, some absolute strangers would walk into the house and be greeted joyously. Then they’d say to the confused child, “Arre! Yeh Uncle yaad nahi hain tumhe?! Yeh tumhe godi mein khilate the!” I’m sorry but even the updated Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t remember all the people who picked him up or fed him some spoonfuls as a baby so please forgive me this crime of not remembering them. Please?!