My mom recently handed me some of my old toys (doll house, cup boards, sofa, doll clothes and many small nicknacks) and as I was holding each of them, I was flooded with their memories buried in some deep corner of my heart and mind. I shared their pics with my sisters who had kept me company with these and I can’t explain the splurge of emotions that swept away all of us. Though the doll was missing from the doll house, each article of my lost and found treasure reminded me of how I placed it with all these things and how it looked in each of the outfits. I was pleasantly surprised when my little sis kept asking me if the miniature perfume bottles are still there with the dressing table, whether the red and green chaniya choli which she was eyeing for her own doll is intact and if the refrigerator still has the little coloured water bottles and ice tray
I showed off my priced possession to my kids and they were so excited to play with them. It was like that moment when you pass a family heirloom to the next generation and they feel proud of being their newly crowned owners. It gave me a different kind of happiness to see them play with it and enjoy it like I used to. I don’t know why my mom had kept these toys so carefully all these years and how she felt when I opened the worn out carton and wiped away the dust off them. I don’t know how she felt to see her grandchildren play with the toys her daughter used to spend hours with and I didn’t bother to ask her. I was so consumed in my own emotions to think of anyone else.
But it did make me wonder whether I should do the same with my kid’s toys? Am I not depriving them of this amazingly heavenly feeling of touching them and reliving their childhood at a time when probably they would be lost in the hustle and bustle of life?? Today my childhood came alive in front of me through my toys. Should I not make sure that my kids also get the opportunity to go back in their childhood and the toys that they play with will open the gateway for so many such memories.
I, for one, have never kept any of their toys and clothes. Whenever I felt that they are done playing with them and it doesn’t excite them anymore I gave it away to some needy children, however expensive or inexpensive. I always thought that instead of lying in some corner of the house unused and obsolete, it’s better to give it away to some children who will experience pleasure in playing with them. After all, toys are meant to be played with and not to adorn cupboards or dark corners of the loft. The other motive was to let my children experience the joy of giving, of spreading smiles by detaching themselves from materialistic things. I always tell them be grateful that you have so much to play with and it only keeps on increasing and you must return this kindness by being generous towards the less fortunate, be the reason to put a smile on some face. My daughter is still learning but my son is not very willing to part with his possessions, infact, I sneak out old broken crayons, used erasers and I-cant-be-sharpened-more pencils without his knowledge. Not to forget, every year Diwali cleaning is a big tussel to decide what goes and what stays. So should I or should I not??
I think as I am nearing the end of this write up, I have my answer. I am going to give away the toys like I have been doing and keep, maybe one or two extremely special ones, for my kids as a gateway for them to go back in time and experience what it feels to be a child again.
And yes, thanks maa, you are the best!!! Thanks for giving me a time machine!!