I remember my childhood as being generally happy and can recall experiencing some of the most carefree times of my life. But I can also remember, even more vividly, moments of being deeply frightened. As a child, I was truly terrified of the dark and getting lost. These fears were very real and caused me some extremely uncomfortable moments.
Maybe it was the strange way in which things looked and sounded familiar in my room at night that scared me so much. There was never total darkness, but a street light or passing car lights made clothes hung over a chair take on the shape of an unknown beast. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw curtains move when there was no breeze. A tiny creak in the floor would sound a hundred times louder than in the daylight and my imagination would take over, creating burglars and monsters. Darkness always made me feel helpless. My heart would pound and I would lie very still so that ‘the enemy’ wouldn’t discover me.
Another childhood fear of mine was that I would get lost, especially on the way home from school. Every morning, I got on the school bus right near my home – that was no problem. After school, though, when all the buses were lined up along the curve, I was terrified that I would get on the wrong one and be taken to some unfamiliar neighbourhood. I would scan the bus for the faces of my friends, make sure that the bus driver was the same one that had been there in the morning, and even then ask the others over and over again to be sure I was in the right bus. On school or family trips to an amusement park or a museum, I wouldn’t let the leaders out of my sight. And of course, I was never very adventurous when it came to taking walks or hikes because I would go only where I was sure I would never get lost.
Perhaps, one of the worst fears I had as a child was that of not being liked or accepted by others. First of all, I was quite shy. Secondly, I worried constantly about my looks, thinking people wouldn’t like me because I was too fat or wore braces. I tried to wear ‘the right clothes’ and had intense arguments with my mother over the importance of wearing flats instead of saddled shoes to school. Being popular was very important to me then, and the fear of not being liked was a powerful one.
One of the processes of evolving from a child to an adult is being able to recognize and overcome our fears. I have learnt that darkness does not have to take on a life of its own, that others can help me when I am lost and that friendliness and sincerity will encourage people to like me. Understanding the things that scared us, as children helps to cope with our lives as adults.
Q. On the basis of your reading of the above passage, make notes using headings and subheadings. Use recognizable abbreviations wherever necessary.
- Recollection of childhood memories
- Happy and carefree
- Terrified of darkness and getting lost
- Childhood fears or hallucinating vibes
- Feeling helpless in the dark
- Strange shadows-an unknown beast
- Moving curtains
- Creaking sounds
- Imagining burglars and monsters
- Lying still, with pounding heart
- Fear of getting lost (on the way back home)
- Scanning school bus searching familiar faces, same driver
- Re-confirming the bus
- Not letting leaders out of sight
- Avoiding the adventurous act
- Going only when sure of not being lost
- Fear of not being liked
- Quite shy
- Worried about fat-looks, having braces, right clothes
- Wearing the right clothes
- Flats vs. saddled shoes for school
- Imp. of popularity
- Coping with childhood fears as an adult
- Undg. evolution process from a child to an adult
- Recog. and overcoming fears
- Accepting help from others
- Role of friendliness and sincerity
- Undg. things that were scary
- & – and
- Act. – activities
- Vs. – versus
- Imp. – importance
- Undg. – understanding
- Recog. – recognizing
Q. Make a summary of the passage in not more than 80 words using the notes made and also suggest a suitable title.
The narrator had happy and carefree moments in his childhood. However, darkness scared him with its shadows, unexpected movement of curtains and blatant creaking sounds, made him imagine about monsters and burglars. He felt helpless and was scared of getting lost. Before boarding his school bus, he looked in for familiar faces. He was shy and afraid of not being liked by others which had been his biggest phobia. As he evolved from a child to an adult, he realised that understanding things that scare us as a child helps in coping with the challenges of life.