My Play World

To me, the world is one big playground...

I build castles in sand and splash in the waves of the ocean. I play in the gurgling water of a stream and jump over rocks and boulders. I run through fields and jump across canals, chase cattle, climb trees and spy on caterpillars. I jump in puddles, dig holes in the muck and make towers out of pebbles.

I talk to the pigeon on my window and make friends with an army of ants. The street dog is my best buddy as I secretly feed him titbits and watch him chase cats. I follow the trail of dragonflies as they circle the sky endlessly. I laugh at the moving clouds as they look down at me as funny shapes. I often try to outrun the moon, though I haven't been able to win so far...

Every object in my house is a toy. I love the clanging sound that utensils make; the fascinating buttons on a remote control, the texture of dough and the colours of bottles on the kitchen shelf. I explore art material by doodling endless circles with coloured pens, drawing dragons on walls and painting dinosaurs on the floor.

A staircase to me is a space to hop and jump, a table, a loop to run around. Under the desk is my secret home where I dream of oceans and mythical creatures. Beneath the pillows is a hidden cave where I hide from evil monsters.

A tree is a spaceship, a cloud, a UFO. A series of narrow streets is a perfect maze to explore. Every gully to me is a cricket pitch, every chowk, a football field.

But the city I live in is built for adults to work, sleep, cook, live, drive and park vehicles and sell things. So is my neighbourhood and my home. I get shooed away from streets and chowks because smoke spewing vehicles need to pass. Every free space around my house is used to park cars, bikes, scooters. Footpaths are lined with hawkers and streets with shops. I also know that the seaside that I love so much is being destroyed to build yet another road.

I love to play. It makes me so happy. It brings me close to other children. The very sight of a play-space makes my feet dance and my heart sing. All I ask for is some space just for play- a place that gives me freedom to explore, run and laugh to my heart's content.

Is it really too much to ask for?