Rain, Lake, Potato, Fairytales

In the chapter 4 of the book Growing Up Untouchable in India, Vasant Moon talks about his childhood memories before, during, and after the monsoon rains. He mentions how he used to roam around with friends, steal fruits from neighborhood trees, take off his clothes and run freely under the rain, search for crabs in the river bank after the rain, and participate in festival of snake.  It seems that despite the poverty he has suffered, Moon has been a free child and enjoyed this freedom by exploring the nature with the company of friends.

I have good memories of the rainy days. Kazeroon, my hometown, was hot and dry in the summer, but cool and rainy in the winter. It never snowed but rained a lot in the winter, and Kazeroon turned to an alive, fresh, green city in the winter. After the rain stopped, I used to wear my green, rubber boots and rush outside the house. Our alley was not paved during my childhood; therefore, rainwater gathered in one corner of the alley and created a big pond, which looked like a lake for us. I remember we enjoyed a lot to step in our lake and watch the circles of water created around our feet. We crossed the pond several times and sang songs loudly. Then we would come home, and my uncle baked potatoes in a small fire he made in the yard. It tasted wonderful with salt and chili.

Sometimes when the rain was accompanied with the storm or strong wind, then we lost electricity. We used to light a candle, go to my father, and along with my siblings and my cousins, ask him to tell us grandmother’s stories. He remembered many exciting, and wonderful tales and legends that his mother had told him in his childhood. My father was a good storyteller. In the light of the candle and amid thunderclaps,  I enjoyed listening to my father’s Afghan fairytales and legends. They all were adventurous and had happy ending.

Now that I am a grown-up, I feel happy that I had a wonderful childhood. It fills my heart with pleasure when I reminisce about it. However, now I think about other children as well. I ask myself if all the children in the world enjoy their right to play outdoors, to scream under the rain from the bottom of their heart, and to chase their playmates among the trees without being worried about tomorrow, about their dinner for tonight. But the answer is there are many children who do not experience those innocent moments of childhood when one is not supposed to worry about responsibilities, about war, about family’s expenses. They have to work and sell their childhood happiness to buy a better tomorrow, which they may never see!!!

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