Saturday, March 3, 2012

Summer-ised memories

With the March sun getting brighter every day, there is no running away from summer. Summer is here to stay.

Come to think of it, on the bright side of this bright Saturday morning, summer actually brings wonderful memories from my childhood days. Oh how I used to wait for the summer vacations! That was the longest break, and the best part of summer vacations was, I did not have to study course books. I could indulge in story books! Summer vacations were sheer enjoyment; books, movies, music galore! I don't think the summer heat ever bothered me or any of us. Our focus was to have some real fun, and fun we had.

The only thing that bothered me about summer vacations were the afternoons, as a child I was never fond of afternoons, that's because I had to have an elaborate meal that included rice and fish. I remember never ever liking rice or fish. My parents felt that rice once a day is a must but to me having to eat rice was a punishment. I waited for evenings because snacks were always more exciting; Bread and jam, cakes, chips were my all time favourites. Why could I not have it all the time! I would dream of a day when my mom would say, “I do not feel like cooking today; would you mind having bread, jam, some cake and cookies today”. Alas! That would never be. We always ended up having elaborate meals. As a grownup I don't mind it at all now, in fact I have all those recipes from my mom, imagine that!

But those days, I wished that by magic afternoons and rice would vanish from my life forever!

I used to love the weekends. Weekends were movie days. We would complete our home work, my mom would pack up some snacks for us (cakes, biscuits, sandwiches with jam of course...) and off we went for the movies. In the army, we got used to watching movies in open air theatres.  It was good fun actually, I don't remember what we did if it rained though. At the movies, I would invariably bump into my school friends and sit with them and watch the film. Even though my parents ensured that we never run out of snacks...occasionally we were allowed to buy hot samosas, cold drink, and salted peanuts as well. I wish I could go back to that era again. Just thinking about it is de-stressing.

I especially enjoyed the long summer vacations after appearing for the class X board exams. Those were two long months of pure bliss.  Almost every evening we would go cycling to the army club. The swimming pool and the library were my favourite stops. An hour of swimming followed by browsing and borrowing books from the library was how the most of my evenings were spent. When we came back home; tired thirsty, and happy, my mom would serve delicious Aam panna (made of un-ripened mango pulp)  I would gulp 2-3 glass full of this delicious refreshing drink.

The ultimate indulgence was snuggling in bed and getting completely lost in books till my mom called us for dinner.

We used to spend at least a month of our summer vacations in our ancestral village in West Bengal. I loved it. It used to be one big get-together. All my cousins would visit as well, and we had one hell of a time. I remember walking to the banks of Ganges (Ganges flows very close to our village), keeping awake till late at night for midnight feasts, listening to ghost stories and getting scared, fighting and making up, walking through the mango orchards and plucking ripe mangoes and devouring those on the way back, rides on bullock carts, getting spoilt by grandparents, and polishing off those yummy dishes prepared by my grandmother…Just recollecting these is making me want to rewind and relive those days.

My cousin brothers used to love teasing us. They were much older than us. One day I was watching my cousin brother shaving. He put some of the shaving cream on my chin, and he said "Look, you will get a beard like me soon". I rushed and washed it and every day I would watch my chin for any signs of a beard. I was very scared, and to this day I remember how petrified I was at that thought.

Memories…they can be so therapeutic.

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here to stay and I am going to try and not let the heat get to me. I am going to make the most of summer. I plan to take a much needed break and spend a lot of time just lazing. What about you?


Seema said...

nice post...we had also a grt time with cousins.....golden days...

Vaish said...

Thinking about summer holidays! It sure is a total fun. I would wait to go to granny's house and meet with 10 other cousins. We used to ride TVS champ in the mud roads, bath in the flowing river! Total fun it was!
I love rice and as a child I would just eat rice all the time!

Vetrimagal said...

As soon as summer starts, our longing for those lazy summer days , return.
While reading your post, I was remembering my summer vacations in the younger days, which was almost similar to what you wrote. Nostalgic.

Seema from Hyderabad too had written a fond write up about her summer days , every year.

All in all,an enjoyable page,
thanks for sharing.

Ranjana said...

Thank you so much for your comments.

@seema, i enjoyed reading your post. Very well written.

@Vaish- Yes, those good old days were so much fun.
Wow! my parents would love you for loving rice that much! Your blog is interesting, I am eagerly waiting for your next post.

@Vetrimagal- I like your blog.Nice.

Canary said...

Ranjana, summer days with family were truly awesome! 100% real and lovely!
Pls do read my childhood experience with nature and share your thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

-Good piece of information.