Of pine forests, high jump and dreams


During our recent holiday, when we were outside the local Botanical Gardens, a lady came to us, selling painted pine cones.

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Image courtesy http://www.indiantourisdestiny.com

The pine cones triggered a wonderful memory from my childhood.

There was a beautiful pine forest near our little township. We could get there, by walk, in ten minutes.

My friends and I, went there sometimes to collect pine cones and play in the soft, fallen pine needles.

We would also take fresh pine needles off the tree, and braid them, as they were in threes.We have had many hours of fun there.

Then again, in the eighties we watched the Seoul Olympics on television. We watched the track and field events, and discussed them with fervour, with our friends.

Very inspired by the athletes, and sensing potential Olympians in each one of us, we built a high jump pit.

We got two eucalyptus wooden poles that we stood on each side. We hammered nails at various heights, on both poles, and found a thin wooden stick that we used to jump over.

We had lots of fun high-jumping, hearing the applause in our minds.  There was however, one small problem. We had to be careful when we fell on the other side. Though there was grass cover, we still ended up bruising ourselves at times.

The pine forest saved our Olympic dreams. We carried many bags to the forest, and brought back dried pine needles.

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Image courtesy – http://www.indiahikes.in

We built our own pad to cushion our falls.

What glorious days those were!