This post is a continuance of The Good Old Mays…(Part-I)
Sorry for the unceremonious ending of the previous part. I hope you can pardon such an indecorum on the part of a nine-post old blogger!
OK..so picking up from where I left..
My mom and us two sisters used to spend part of the summer vacation at my nana-nani’s (maternal grandparents) place and my aunt and two of my cousin sisters would also join us there for the vacation. This was one of the major highlights of our holidays and we really looked forward to it. We four girls would be glued to each other and what fun we had! Doll-weddings, needle work, cribbing and doing homeworks, reading and narrating stories, playing games, sharing candies and chocolates, watching TV, being treated to ice-creams and kulfis and the special “Holiday” menu…year after year, we shared these days and thus ended up becoming the closest of sisters who still share such a special bond!
During this long vacation, it was only natural and fitting that we should miss our school friends but then we had our own special set of summer friends eagerly waiting for us in all the comics and story books! Chacha Chaudhary, Saabu, Pinkie, Tinkle, Champak, Tintin, Calvin and Hobbes…Just loved the whole lot! (Actually, still do!) You could while away the hours, lapping up the plethora of interesting stories that they collectively offered. You could just enjoy the read but if your imagination was wild enough, you were free to accompany one or more of those characters on their adventures and help them figure out ways to get out of the soup (as a rule, all these folks had a penchant to land into one ever so often!). And if you were in the mood for some real thrill, you could even decide to get in the driver’s seat and let the (ex-) protagonist be your sidekick!
A post about those days can never be complete without mentioning the innumerable games that we played! Some of them were the ancient and widely popular ones like ludo, snakes and ladders, spell-bound, kitchen set, doctor set, lock and key, name-place-thing-animal, “pitto”, “kabaddi”, hide and seek….and then you could improvise too! The next few lines may appear very silly to you but you won’t know what fun it is till you’ve tried it!
OK, so at the risk of soundind extremely stupid, let me tell you about this very innovative game that my sister and me enjoyed so so much. It was named “kathin raasta” (tortuous terrain!). We would run all around, pretending to be traversing forests, rivers, mountains and deserts. My di would lead, doing running commentary to warn me of the impending danger and I would follow her religiously – not missing a single turn or bend or leap! Ya ya, i know it sounds silly but take it from me, there was superb coordination between the two of us and it superb fun!!
The only moderator for our high spirits was the sight of the school diary because in that was penned down the long and rueful list of “Holiday Homework” (H.H.W). Not a single subject was missed. No such stroke of luck. Mathematical problems, essays (and “nibandhs”), using pencil shavings to make an owl, filling countless pages of writing books in the hope of seeing some improvement in handwritings (didn’t really work for me :[ ), learning the history and geography of India and the world by rote, developing familiarity with the plant and the animal world, understanding the sciences and forces operating behind practically everything that happens and a lot more – you were expected to master all this and be prepared to put your knowledge to test (quite literally) post the vacation. But to be honest, not all of it was detestable and then there was ample amount of time to whine and complain while working so you could complete it eventually. Not much in advance though – we all know how ten percent of a task is completed in ninety percent of the time and the rest ninety percent is somehow squeezed in the remaining ten percent of the time (:-P) Nevertheless, the purport of making the homework double as a killjoy failed miserably because we all know that there is no dampener potent enough to quell that happy, carefree mood!
So these were the some of the main elements of those blissful days and my heart really yearns for them…
The memories of those days stay as fresh as ever and never fail to bring a smile to my lips. It was like festival time – lots of fun and food, endless flow of cousins and other relatives, many many hours to be pampered by your parents and grandparents and indulging yourself in all that is merry!