घरात पाहुणे रावळे आले की त्यांच्या चपला घालायची धावपळ चिल्ल्या पिल्ल्यांची सुरू असते. मापात बसत नाहीत हे माहित असतानाही त्या चपला घालायची त्यांची धरपड प्रत्येकाने पाहिली असेल. मोठ्यांच्या चपलात पाय घालून फिरणे हा सुद्धा एक खेळ होता लहाणपणी. दाराबाहेरच्या चपला ईकडे तिकडे गेल्या की पहिले चिल्ले पिल्ले मंडळींना विचारणा होते. आज माझ्या बहिणीची लेकरे स्वरः आणि गौरांग असाच खेळ खेळत होती त्यांच्या पायातल्या चपला पाहुण मी सुद्धा सर्रकन भुतकाळात गेलो. आमच्या आजोबाचा कातडी बुट असायचा तो माझ्या बालपणीचा ट्रॅक्टर होता. त्या बुटात वाळू भरून ब्रीईऽऽमम, ब्रीईऽऽमम करत ईकडुन तिकडे फिरवत बसायचो. घरात कुणी पाहुणे मंडळी आली की पहिल्यांदा त्यांच्या चपला हुडकायच्या त्यात एखादे नवरा नवरी आले असले की त्यांच्या चपला घालण्यात वेगळाच आनंद वाटायचा. वडाखाली चप्पल बुट खेळता खेळता; चहा पाणी करून पाहुणे मंडळी निघाले की आई मोठ्ठ्याने हाक मारायची “अयं..लेकरांनो हिकडं आणा चपला” मग लगेच लगबगीने त्या काढून द्यायचा.

एकदा वडीलांनी आणलेला नवीन सॅण्डल मी दुसऱ्याच दिवशी हरवला तेव्हा आईच्या भेनं भेनं दिवसभर घरी नव्हतो गेलो. रविवारच्या बाजारातुन घरच्यांनी पंचेचाळीस रूपयाची पॅरागाॅन आणली की चटा चटा करत चालताना लय राजेशाही थाट वाटायचा पण पावसाळ्यात मात्र तीच स्लिपर जेव्हा पॅन्टींवर चिखलाच्या कारंज्या उडवायची तेव्हा रागही यायचा.
अख्या बालपणात आपल्याला कधीच महागड्या खेळण्याची गरजच नाही पडली. सायकलीचे आणि दुचाकीचे जुने टायर, सरपणातले गाडवान, कुया, आणि मोठ्या माणसांच्या चपला व बुटा सोबत खेळण्यात आपलं बालपण गेलं परंतु काळानुसार खेळण्यांच्या वस्तू जरी बदलल्या असल्या तर बालपण मात्र तसंच असते. बालपन गाडीचा दर्जा असणारी चप्पल बुट मोठे झाल्यावर मात्र खेटरं वाटायला लागतात. आज आपण लहाण होऊन तोच आनंद पुन्हा नाही घेऊ शकत पण लहाणग्यांमध्येच आपले बालपण शोधू शकतो. या सुट्ट्यात ते खेळत असताना फक्त त्यांचे थोडेसे निरिक्षण करा आणि स्वतःचे बालपण जगुण घ्या.

वक्ता तथा लेखक : प्रा.विशाल गरड
दिनांक : १० नोव्हेंबर २०१८

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