My husband’s mom walks into the room, where my kids are sprawled out. She wears her reading glasses, and looks at what seems to be a small rectangular box in her hand. She passes it to my daughter, and says, “This was a puzzle that belonged to your Dad.”
My kids look excited, and look curiously at the small box from nearly four decades ago. They open the thin box to look inside.
The objective of the game is to bring the King down from his summer palace to his winter house. There is a sheet with instructions.
My husband’s eyes light up, when he sees this small box that contains some of his childhood memories; memories that come gushing out and bring a delighted smile to his face.
The kids move the puzzle pieces this way and that. They liken it to a game called Klotski that they play on their phones. They talk about how the mobile game has so many levels and challenges.
But, my husband and I are stuck in the past, where levels did not matter, where machines did not give you rewards and awards. We played the same games multiple times, and when we got bored, we would move to another similar game or puzzle, and then come back to this one. There was no need to charge any phone or laptop.
The kids soon move on from their fleeting interest in the puzzle box. However, my husband and I walk down memory lane, and many of its by-lanes, exchanging notes about all the games we played as kids.
Life was simple then, so simple in fact that happiness could be found within a small puzzle box; and where success could be had by merely moving a king from his summer palace to his winter home.