Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Let's Pretend!!

I was just reading an article about how it is perfectly normal for children to have imaginary friends. I remember a few years ago, another study was published that stated that having an imaginary friend was healthy and that children who had imaginary friends were less likely to develop depression, bipolar, Schizophrenia, etc as adults. Interesting isn’t it? Idon’t know how true either of those statements are – depends on what your “friends” are like I suppose!

I had imaginary friends as a kid. Some of you may have already heard this story. I am sure I had plenty of imaginary friends as I was growing up – having two brothers meant that I didn’t have anyone to plays with dolls with me or have a tea party with. So I would make them up. Kids do that all the time.

For example: we were at a friend’s house last weekend and they have a 4 year old. He asked everyone to play Table Tennis with him. After playing for a while, both my brothers and Sudarshan were feeling tired, so they said, “Let’s play something else”. He was very insistent and decided that he would play TT by himself – he would hit the ball from one end, run to the other end, and try to hit it back – and would be having a conversation with himself the whole time! (Surely that much energy has got to be (un?)healthy at some level???)

I don’t remember the names of my imaginary friends (I don’t think I had a steady friend, they would change according to what I needed at the time) but I do remember one particular friend that I used to have. I can’t remember what he was called…

He was a big monster – about the size of three grown-ups. He was huuuge and scary looking. He could fly and would only visit “once a year”. He didn’t talk to little kids much – but he would talk to me. However, I had to be very careful not say or do anything wrong as if I did, he would get angry and accidently injure me!

While I knew my other “imaginary friends” were “imaginary”, I used always get this one friend confused. I could never remember if he really existed or not. When you are a kid, “a year” is a long time, and if others couldn’t remember him, I would assume it was simply because they “forgot”.

Psychoanalyse that!