This picture was taken during our family trip to Bannerghatta National Park in 1985 when I was five years old. In the first row, the two who are standing (from left) are my elder brother Jagdish and Murali, who is my husband now. In the second row is myself Jamuna (pointing finger at my father who is taking the picture) and next to me is my second elder brother Krishna.
It is 32 years since this picture was taken. I just have a faint memory of us visiting the Bannerghatta park because of a funny/scary incident that happened. My father who was quite an adventurous person had taken us for a walk inside the safari area. After walking for some time, I remember many people who were on their way back telling my father not to proceed further as there were some elephants on the road, but my father kept all of us walking. Soon after than we all heard elephants trumpeting and the sound was very near. Next, all I remember was someone from my family carrying me and running towards the safari entrance. Oh! What a thrilling experience it was.
I and my two elder brothers are from Peenya. Murali was from Bellary and he used to visit us during vacations as he was my mother's elder brother's son. As many agree, children born before 80s are the luckiest ones as we had one of the loveliest childhoods. We played from dawn to dusk. Murali who used to visit us on every vacation was the prankster amongst us but we three always looked forward for his visit as we all enjoyed his pranks.
My brothers and Murali got along very well ( of course they also used to fight) and went often outside to play all sort of games on earth, roaming around entire Peenya industrial area. My cousin sisters, brothers and me joined them too sometimes. Our games varied from season to season; 'lagori', marbles, kite flying, skipping, hopping, 'hide and seek' etc. Our parents never interfered in our games or fights and we sorted our own riffles and I think that gave us our own wisdom of life. Our group games taught us how to be cooperative and taught us life skills and even developed leadership skills.
After my marriage to Murali, the bond between us became much strong and more precious. We four have retained our bonding with each other till day. We do still fight like cats and dogs, we do pull each other legs, we do support each other thick and thin, we hang out crazily, we obnoxiously make fun of each other, we love each other and pray for each other's wellbeing. I have one daughter now who is in eighth grade. Both my brothers are having two kids each.
We four of us recently took a similar picture like we did 32 years ago. I thank God for such a wonderful soulful journey that we are sharing.
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