A friend passed this on to me through email, and it documents very well my growing up. My personal additions are in italics and are edited to suit me. I do not know who the original author of this write up is but I did not write this from scratch.
According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably should not have survived, because our baby cots (beds ) were covered with brightly colored lead-based paint (there was no other paint available and parents put fingers in our mouth and made us throw up, if and when we picked up chipped paint and put them in our mouth.)
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to Play with matchboxes!! (Not really. with parents constantly yelling at us we were told to keep away. They would try to hide, but we would find where they hid them and grabbed them again. And mostly the matches were kept out of our reach.
When we rode our bikes, there were no helmets ( i never saw one growing up, nor did my parents know about it, otherwise for sure it would be on our head ).
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags - riding in the passenger seat was a treat. I grew up without a car. we walked everywhere or took public transport when required. Rides in cabs and autorickshaws were a luxury.
We drank water from the garden hose ( straight from the pipe or a glass ) and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.
We ate chips, bread and laddoos and drank sugarcane juice with lots of ice in it, ( refrigerator came much later in my life ) but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. ( on the terrace of our apartment building during summer ) and the playground was filled with those playing cricket! )
We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or glass and no one actually died from this. ( My parents reprimanded us for this, if the info slipped from our mouth) In summer if we go home before dark our parents would ask us to come in, so we took turns going to each other houses to get cold water filled in recycled bottles ( i did not know what bottled water was until i read it in the only 'glazed sunday newspaper of the times of india before actually seeing it much later). summer was for drinking rasna, which was completely different then what is shown on the website.
We would spend hours riding cycles (during noon in the hot sun) without support wheels and then went top speed down the road, only to find out we were not still so confident on the bike!!! ( and once even hit a standing truck. And the shopkeeper on the corner betrayed me by telling it to my parents! By then the scars on my leg and elbow were healed. I tried to lie, but was not successful, because the shopkeeper was backed up by another parent who saw me washing the wounds in their bathroom and gave me a bandaid.)
After running into stinging bees / thorns, bush a few times, we learned to solve the problem. ( and tried to hide the scratches/wounds on our knees so as not to hear another lecture from our parents, bribed the siblings to keep quiet and nursed each others wounds in hushed tones, only to be found out in horror. Those scratches were far less painful than the lectures)
We would leave home in the afternoon and could play all evening, as long as we were back before it got dark. (Not in my house. We were only let out to play at 5,o clock in the evening. My parents/someoneelse's checked on us periodically. the people who stayed in the next lane and would not give a smile otherwise, would come and complain to the parents when we played pranks.)
No one was able to reach us and no one minded. We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. (TV came much later in our house, precisely when i was 12 years old. I couldn't sit patiently for a 3 hour movie and turned off the tv after 20 minutes)
We had only one channel on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, NO landlines either (by the time we had a landline i left home in 6 months) no computers, no DVDs, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them.
We played with marbles on the main street without footwear and sometimes that road really hurt! We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones ( not to forget being grounded for a week) but there were no law suits.
We had full on fistfights but no prosecution followed from other parents.
We played pittoo(seven tiles) ( i loved it. we called this lagori) , hide-n-seek, langdi, hopskotch and were actually afraid of the owners catching us.
We walked to friends' homes. We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we did not rely on mummy Or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner.
We made up games with sticks and pebbles. We rode bikes in packs of 2 and wore the same flipflops all summer!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of...They actually sided with the law.
..May be after 30 years I will look back and will look back on this blog and the imprints left by other bloggers. Because of them I have known only more..