Mar 27, 2014

Summer moments

I just returned after enquiring about a summer camp for my 2.5 year old daughter. The summer camp is in the morning hours. A teacher in the school mentioned that she offers a different summer camp in the afternoon from her home too and I can enroll my daughter if interested. I decided that a couple of hours in the morning is more than enough to keep her engaged at this age.

While pondering about these various summer camps, memories of my childhood summers started to appear before my eyes. There wasn't any concept of "summer camps" back then. The 2 months were filled with soaking in the sunshine, sweating and running around with neighbors, cousins and friends.

Sneaking out of the house to get a stick of flavored ice bar ("kuchi" ice) in a nearby ice factory in the afternoon when the elders were taking their afternoon nap.
Climbing the terrace to pluck juicy guavas from the trees
Sipping cool and refreshing lemon juice made from water stored in a mud pot
Learning the basics of embroidery and sewing from my aunt
Copying different patterns of kolams (rangoli designs) from various books and magazines
Sleeping on the terrace in the nights, when the much needed cool breeze blows gently
Eagerly awaiting the week-long tour to different places in the country
Playing ice-boys (hide-and-seek) till midnight or till elderly neighbors start to yell, whichever is earlier
Playing board games (monopoly, ludo, snake and ladder) and card games (including WWF trump cards)
Visiting the nearby temple in the night to collect prasaadam during the 10 day Ramanavami festival
Walks to the paddy fields, hill temple and playground
Eating round balls of curd rice in the afternoon, fed patiently by my grandma

Unstructured play, no agenda, just fun and laughter. Growing up in a village and then in a sub-urban locality gave me the time and space to explore and enjoy the summer vacation each year. Ofcourse, the childhood companions played an important role in all these memories. Times have changed so much, so does the activities and gadgets available to kids these days. But every summer, my vacation memories will bring a big smile in my face always.

Turns out I had written a similar post in 2005 as well :-) Memories are powerful, I say. They love to come back every now and then to bring a smile or a tear.

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