PEOPLE SPEAK: Our Summer Vacations
On Apr 09, 2016
The worst part of being an adult is you never get to enjoy such beautiful long vacations anymore. Summer vacations used to be the highlight of childhood. Nowadays, vacations are full of vacation classes of some sort. I don’t think the kids of today even realize it is actually a vacation. During my childhood, we used to travel to my father’s native place during the vacation. The beautiful, inaccessible through road, Kuttanad. We were treated royally by our grandparents. The day we reach a swing would be made in the front yard, special appams will be made just for us. It used to be such fun times. What I feel is this generation many kids don’t even take their eyes off from their gadgets to even try knowing the world outside them. They are kind of stuck in the virtual world.
Sheetal Satish Babu
Summer vacations always took me to my father's village. Every tree would be laden with fruits and we (my cousins and I) would scout the neighbourhood in search of the biggest, juiciest and tastiest of the lot that nature has in store for us. The vast paddy fields would be bare after harvest, perfect for the boys to play football. My grandmother always prepared the best dishes for us children - warm, fresh eggs, kappa puzhukku, mambazha pulissery and all that was made with whatever was in season. Now so much progress and development has taken place, that in place of our usual Sip-up shop, is a Supermarket and the paddy fields have paved way to multi storeyed apartments. And my daughter stays glued to TV.
We used to go to our mother's house at Pathanamthitta .Games like Ambum Villum and having parotta and chicken curry were the highlights. My grandfather had a shop too. It was a great time with amma ,kunjamma, aunt and us the kids. We also used to go to the nearby Achankovil river. It was a time when we could eat, sleep, swim and then repeat the same cycle again. Another memory of summer vacation is a crush I had on a chechi. Evenings we used to go to Thazhoor Kadavu temple. Some evenings we used to go to a local theatre for a movie. Another memory is the image of walking with my grandfather under the moon light - with no torch in hand. It was fun!
Mridul J Kurup
I still remember the confused me, halfway back home from school, wondering what to do for the couple of vacation months. We had been thinking about and planning all sorts of things to be done the moment school closes. But the enormity of the moment and the sudden vacuous freedom from our regular time-tabled schedule freezes my thoughts!
One night later, the day breaks to an idleness when, interestingly, I see my mother with a ‘what on earth are these boys up to now’ expression. I had my elder brother too gifted with his share of summer vacations. Out we come with our cricket bat and ball into the tiny space in front of home. In Kerala, I believe, most nuclear homes with miniscule team-strength and ground-spread had their own set of customized cricketing rules – square cut through the drawing room window can land 2 runs, a heroic-six straight out of the quadrangle would cost a wicket and also an embarrassing task of ball-retrieval from an irate neighbour’s backyard. The umpteenth shout from my Mother lands both me and my brother out from the sun into our homes in front of our Keltron Television preciously locked up inside a wooden box with sliding doors and lock!
I still remember my grandmother guarding the key up until late 90s, often opening up at 6 every evening when Doordarshan rations out couple of hours for Malayalam broadcast on weekdays. Vacations do give us a share of Delhi-broadcast during day time as well.
Vacations bring in a customary trip to our native, where a sudden burst of fresh green wafts through our senses. We climb around cashew and guava trees, run along paddy fields and gain experience at outdoor barbeque where cashew-nuts are roasted and burnt, tapioca uprooted and steamed. One day, rain clouds roll up and prepare to pour down. This marks the end to a period of peace where a rejuvenated me sits inside our school bus as it snails back into the school courtyard.
Today, I still see children looking forward to summer vacation. Nothing has changed with the freshness it offers. Lifestyles have definitely changed. There is a definitive influence of touch-screens, internet and play-stations. Folks are more aware of international sports, figures, clubs et al. Information which we were blissfully ignorant of a couple of decades back. I see kids in full-blown sports attire dribbling football along the alleyways. Animated discussions on Ronaldo missing a sitter and Nolan coming up with a new wonder fills up their lives. Yes, content has grown to a totally different level, but the end game of rejuvenations stays. That is all that matters!