Let me be frank with you. I am not a young man or a teenager in college, or even a university student. I am a middle aged man and today I want to write about my life growing up. Yes, during the 80’s and the 90’s! And yes when there were no mobile phones nor any internet!

You must have seen the posts floating around on Facebook that we 80’s kids were the last ones to play in the streets and skip and slide and what not. Well I am not going to discuss those with you today. Today I am going to list a few things that I hold dear from my childhood in Pakistan… things that are very hard or impossible to find today!

Lattu (Tops)

Lattu, the amazing combination of wood and thread! Wrap the thread around the grooves on the top and spin it like there’s no tomorrow!

We used to play it simple: the one whose top spins the longest wins! However, there were others who never got tired of hot dogging. My favorite trick was picking up a spinning top onto your palm… something I never really mastered :o\

Bhutta (Roasted Corn or Maize)

This is another thing that has kind of died out. Although you still can get a variant of the ‘bhutta’ in the form of ‘makai’, the ‘bhutta thela’ is a rare sight today.

The half burnt corn rubbed with half a lemon and a mixture of red chili and salt, yum! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!!

Morning Cartoons

For some reason I only remember Woody Wood Pecker in the morning before going to school. Anyway back to the point… what a brilliant time it was for kids to watch cartoons during breakfast!  They would gulp it down easily without any hassling or hair pulling on the part of the parents.

Morning cartoons were one of the reasons that made me want to wake up every morning. Compare it with today where you have dedicated cartoon channels with not a cartoon worth watching – not to mention the vulgarity displayed in some of these ‘kids shows’ – and you will feel sorry for today’s youth L

Cycles on Rent

I know every kid has his/ or her own cycles today but going to the cycle rent shop and getting one just for the heck of it was a different kind of experience,  even when you had your own cycle.

And it’s not as if they rented out some really cool cycles, you used to get the old rickshaw pulling type cycles. But it was fun nonetheless!

Video Game Shops

YUP! Those dingy shops at the end of your gulley where you weren’t allowed to go, but you still did! The ones that had modified Street Fighter II, with Ryu and Ken throwing out 10 ‘gola’s’ at a time.

You could spend hours in there, just watching others play and waiting for an opponent that you thought matched your skill set!

Yup… there are so many things wonderful things that we did as kids that I’m afraid my daughter will never get to experience; things that would enrich her childhood in so many ways. But hey, that’s life! Maybe 20 years from now my daughter will be writing a piece where she’ll be reminiscing about the obsolete little plaything called the iPhone!