Monday, January 28, 2013

Summer Holidays

I keep going back in time to try and relive some cherished moments. I very often wonder whether I'd do the same after 20+ years about the present day..... I wonder what I would think about... there seems nothing so special about the current life. Well....I'll ponder about it some other day.

I am going to be writing about my summer vacation during school, those 2 months of all play, no books, no exams, and no rules. I am sure each one of us has a long story to weave about this one.
We (amma, brother and me) visited my maternal grandparents every year for more than a month during this time. Our other cousins with my aunt came there too. (we called my grandparents ambu ajji and dada and often referred to the home simply as ajji mane)
As my grandparent’s house was adjacent to another close relatives’, more cousins, second cousins, aunts & friends used to join in. In short, it was one huge unending party.

Ajji mane had a huge garden with 2 large mango trees, a jackfruit tree, mulberry plant amongst many other shrubs, plants, trees -small and big. As it was the season of the mangoes, there were at least 2-3 days spent in getting the mangoes plucked, picking them, sorting them and sharing them with neighbours, friends and relatives. Then came ajji's turn in making delicacies with mango one wouldn't have thought of.

Once the mango activity died down, my cousins and I settled down to play games which are both indoor and outdoor. Most often we used to play carrom board (reminds me to tell you that my colleagues in the UK had never heard of this game!), cards, Chinese chequers amongst traditional ones like kunte bille, chowkha baarah, pagadi and more modern ones like badminton and cricket - needless to say that we used to pick the sport either looking at the time of the day or when we had a bad fight on the previous game and had to start something new to forget and move on.

It also used to be the time of torrential rains, you know when it gets really hot, it tends to pour it down on a certain day. Those days were great fun! Play in the rain and have bhaji's in the evening as a treat. I remember this huge tree outside ajji's home which had big orange flowers covered with a shell that resembled a boat, we called it the boat tree (no points for guessing this one). The rains used to bring this down and we loved playing with these in the rain making little rivers out of pathways. 

Ambu ajji was one of the best cooks and the most hospitable people I have ever seen. 
Every night we gathered around her for her numerous stories - the likes of Ramayana, Mahabharata, aesops fables and panchatantra. While she told us the stories, she fed us our dinner by giving us Kai thutthu ( she made balls of rice and each of us get a piece of it in a round robin basis, we carry on doing this, on most occasions until the food runs out - while I write this, I can't help but chuckle at my description in English!) - Of course we ended up eating much more than we would have if it was served separately to us.

The other activity was getting Mehendi on our hands (the western world calls it henna art - something that makes me grin every time I hear it!). My dear mom was the artist, we all got to pick a design from a little book and take turns in getting it done. The next morning's activity was sorted as we spent time comparing designs, the shades, and colour of the patterns on our hands.

Those were the times when TV meant only DD with one movie every week. So, the luxury we received was to rent a VCD player for a few days and rent tapes to watch every night and during hot afternoons. It used to be a mini cinema hall as about 25-30 people gathered in the tiny living room to be a part of this occasion. I had my first Hindi lessons watching the classics ....sangam, shree 420, khamoshi to name a few.

Dada, as we fondly called my grandpa just loved children. Every evening he used to take all us kids out for a stroll either to LalBagh, Bugle Rock, Hanumanthana betta or Gandhi Bazaar ( there is no place like south Bangalore). He often resembled a pied piper with children following him. The evening stroll with him also came with treats in the name of ice creams, roasted peanuts or chocolates.  We used to be thrilled.

In between all this, I came up with this idea of holding entertainment programmes (EPs. A show we put up and have music, plays, jokes, monoacts, quizzes, dance and drama in it. I am quite proud of this little activity which I started. Age-wise, I was bang in the middle of the crowd, the older cousins thought I was too young, however, the younger ones thought I was the big sis they could look up to - I adored the attention. So, I got my younger cousin sis and my brother and we three formed our little entertainment company.  We did, if i recollect it, around 9 such EPs and it was a huge thing, everyone liked it....I wish I can get my hands on the feedback forms which we had asked all to write. 

It was a simple life, with simple aspirations; so generally, we always had a good time. Those days are never going to come back and I guess our next generation will somehow always miss the joys in simple things.  I cherish those days - it was called Summer Holidays for a reason and we made the most of it. 


  1. Hi all ,Nice blog .This summer im planing to visit bandipur resorts and br hills resorts

    1. Sorry.. I missed the comment - settings weren't right! Thank you for stopping by - hope your trips last year were good.

  2. Great ideas for Summer holidays. Must doing activities like listening to music, plays, jokes and Dance, its enjoying activities in summer. I love to read your information. Its quite interesting. Wow Summer is coming ! Thanks God its time to celebration.

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    1. Thank you Aditi. Summer is always fun! Hope you have a good one :)