A physically distant social interaction in the 90's

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

When I was about ten years old, we lived in a house that was a stand alone independent house. Basically not an apartment building. Infact the entire area had no apartment buildings. There were no tall or towering buildings and you had a clear, unhindered view from your rooftop terrace. Each house had atleast one terrace.

Evenings after school started with a neighbourhood friend coming over or me going over to someone's or even freely flitting from one house to another. Those were 'play dates' then. Unplanned, but we knew there was one every evening.

If we weren't playing indoors or gallivanting the streets, we were on the terrace.

I loved the terrace. Nobody could hear you so you disturbed no one if you were screaming or shouting or singing. You could just lie down and gaze at the sky or the stars if you wanted to. My mom would take me to the terrace to see the full moon. Even today, she sends me a message to let me know that it's a full moon night.

A few streets away stood a house, on the terrace of which, I would see a girl quite often. She was almost always on her own. Playing, dancing, reading aloud and whatever else kids in the 90's fancied.

There was a bit of hostility in the beginning that evolved into showing off each other's toys and dolls. And then evolved into playing a bit of hide n seek. A friend or two had joined in too, from their respective terraces. So we were these kids playing random, adventurous games from each others terraces and having dance offs.

All this relied just on body language. Not even expressions, because we couldn't see each other that well from afar.

We had never met. If we crossed each other on the street we wouldn't have recognised each other.

Soon after, we either moved houses or we just got busy with other things so we never really 'played' for very long.

This physically distant time today, took me back to that, when I didn't have a phone and a hundred applications on it and a zillion live sessions of home workouts, online cooking, online meditation and yoga and just the pressure surmounting from it to be productive and to learn something new. Because this time that we have from the pandemic, is the time to do it all. It has become a productivity competition of sorts.

So I basked in that memory, laughed a little and went back to my list of things to do.

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