Summer holidays

Summer is here. And so are the watermelons, mangoes, ads for prickly heat powders and soft drinks. As I lay in bed reading an e-book on my kindle, the warm afternoon light stroking the edges of my bed and the curtains dancing to the tunes of a high-speed fan, I find myself reminiscing about summers 15 years ago.

Summers meant long holidays. As kids, the day used to start with gathering all our friends in the neighborhood much against the protest of our exasperated mothers warning us against the health hazards of playing in the hot sun. I used to eagerly wait for someone to shout my name from the street so that I could run out in my bright-colored frock and join the fun lineup of our routine games- woodpecker, hide and seek, lock and key,  enactment of husband-wife-children(complete with tiny kitchen vessels and fights about inedible food cooked by the wife with a hungry toddler wailing in the background), etc.

The games were halted when lunch sirens(mothers screaming for their kids) were heard. Panting and sweating, we would drag ourselves home on our exhausted little knees. Short afternoon naps were forced on us. I distinctly remember the quiet afternoons when I would be lying in bed, listening to the rumble of the fan and the melodramatic music from a 90s movie playing on TV, interspersed with the occasional honking of vehicles and crying of babies in the neighborhood – the only worry on my little mind being whether I would wake up in time for our evening games.

The naps were followed by treats of Rasna or chilled lemonade. The ice-cream seller with his yellow cap and goofy jokes was the children’s favorite person . He used to lure children like a pied piper using a ‘ding-ding’ bell on his modified cycle attached with a cooler box.  The tiny tots used to throng him, a dozen hands raised in anticipation of orange sticks and ice cream in plastic balls.

 There used to be jubilation when grandpa walked in lugging a huge watermelon. My excited cousins and I used to sit around him in a circle and wait impatiently to gobble the juicy red pieces with a loud slurp. More often that not, this ended in a squabble attributed to our competition-‘fastest watermelon eater’.

On occasional days when my mother and aunt got bored of relentless gossip sessions, they tried their hands at making homemade kulfis and ice creams. The kids weren’t allowed near the kitchen for the whole day as there was impending danger of the mischievous bunch breaking the essence bottles and toppling over the ice cream powders. At the end of the long day’s wait, we would be served chilled flavored milkshake.

Another favorite pass-time was feeding the goats out on an evening stroll with leaves from the garden plants.  This was followed by a game of cards, carom or a cricket match on TV. The day would end with quiet dinners of piping hot dosas and flame red tomato chutney.

Gone are those days. We spend afternoons hooked to our xboxes and kindles now. The ice cream man is replaced by the fancy dessert Parlour. The lemonades are replaced by soft drinks. The goats are replaced by swarms of vehicles. A wave of nostalgia washed over me as I wrote this with a smile on my face. I miss the innocence and simplicity of those days. I miss summer vacations, the way I know it.


Hide and seek

My typical day starts with his enthusiastic greeting. Every morning, punctual like the clock, he stands outside my house with a big grin, waiting to embrace me in his giant hug. He peeps into my room through the windows, the curtains doing little to stop his eager gaze at my sleepy face. As soon as I draw the curtains, he barges into my room suffusing it with all his youthful exuberance and I grudgingly let him in.

On days when he is dispirited, he hides behind the walls of his blue house, refusing to step out. On other days, he slyly peeps out to check if he’s being missed. I love such days – when there’s a cool breeze with the birds chirping and the butterflies fluttering and his shy demanour filling my heart with warmth. 

We share a love-hate relationship. There have been times when I have run from him. I try to sneak past him whilst he’s looking away, masking my face with scarves and hiding behind umbrellas. He hardly uncovers my coy attempts at deception.

He will be waiting for me tomorrow morning in his bright yellow suit – his sunshine knocking on my door. The Sun will be waiting for me to play another game of hide and seek with him.

First post

The quintessential first post. It’s 2:34 am and here I am, going blog-hopping and desperately thinking of an interesting (and auspicious) beginning to my dormant blog of 3 years.

Blogs are snapshots of memories, much like photographs (only more detailed). I have always wanted to blog but never started because 1. I never got the time for it (3 years and no time for a simple blog post? What was I doing? Launching rockets to Mars?) 2. I wanted to write good posts and I was afraid to start and fail. 

So what changed now? A conversation with mom about how we give authority to the society to judge us and control our behavior. I realized that I should not let others take the harness to my  life. Why am I afraid to try? Because I am scared of failure. Why am I scared of failure? Because of the mockery that might ensue. I might fall and fail, but I will learn from my mistakes and pick myself up. And so I start this blog, and invite you for a random stroll through a 20-something girl’s life.

Here’s to more failures, learnings, blog posts, better ideas and a whole lot of sunshine! 😊