Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Moments in the Sun of Summer

This year, here in Delhi, rise of temperature has been delayed by sometime . The weather these days reminds me of the summer vacation of yesteryears ; Sadly, i am not eligible for the same .Surrounded by monotonicity of grown up life , with mad rush and pursuit of catching dreams one has to move forward.Children are at mischievous best during the summer vacations. With ample time to kill , they do find unusual ways to amusing/entertaining themselves and do end up enjoying in the set up created by themselves. Summer afternoons are agonizingly long , there has to be a lot of planning to make the hours count. We used to wonder why we can't have our summer vacations as in books and movies i.e. visiting relatives , discovering hill stations etc. Years later , as i try to recall , it was not so boring either. There were so many memorable moments which can be vividly captured in words. Some moments are generic and most can be specifically associated to the summer season...Here it goes....

1: Door bells were a rarity in those days. Everyone was hugely fascinated by the door bells in particular and all bells/whistles/sounds in general. There was curious way to show this fascination . We used to run away after ringing the door bell of someone's house. It was kind of open invitation when we knew uncle X and family is not at home i.e. on vacation.

2: Electricity meter was equipment of huge interest. checking count of electricity meter was everyone's favorite activity. To be specific, the excitement of noticing the red point in the rotating circle was reason to get elated.

3: Telephone , as they said , was wonder of science. Not sure of the working of the same , we used to believe that we can listen to the talk going on the phone by bringing the ear close to the telephone wire. We were sure of one thing we won't get electric shock by telephone wires. This listening activity was tried , we never got to listen any voice on phone. I had to wait for many more years to get chance to listen human voice on phone. Then the mechanism was quite obvious , but still it felt great listening to human voice on phone , it was dad's voice on the other side.

4: Everyone had strange stories to tell. Take this example: Rupee 1 coin becomes magnet if kept on the rails over which the railways train passes. No wonder Alice in wonderland was very believable story for us, So were Donald duck , jungle book , Aladdin etc. My love for cartoons and animation had germinated in those days , that has continued till this date. Recently i watched "the toy Story" part 1,2,3 , i realized, i might had enjoyed this movie more as a child.

5: Movies were big talking point. Checking for pictures of actors and actresses at any location i.e. stickers , auto rickshaw and obviously spending a lot of time in front of cinema hall posters were fun activities. The location of our school which was not far from a movie hall did act as a catalyst. Some lucky friends used to describe the world inside the cinema hall .Extensive discussion of the actors and their style was on every-day's agenda of childhood friends meetings. Emulating actors was one of the better moments. Even we used to simulate fight sequences with sound effects produced from mouth ex. a typical dishum!! with fist movement. we were believers of Dara Singh's super human capabilities . we actually believed that he can not sit on a chair as any chair will break if Mr. Dara Singh sits on that.

6: Thanks to Ramayana and Mahabharata TV Serials , children were inclined heavily towards archery. Everyone had their own bamboo made arrow and sow. One of my misadventures was when i aimed correctly at the honey bees hive. My face was swollen for many days due to Honey bee stings.My fanfare with bow and arrow continued for some more years.

7: Some TV serials were indispensable .example : Alif Laila . Discussing missed/watched episodes of "alif Laila" was a must do activity. There were some privileged friends who had power back-up at their homes. They religiously watched all "important" episodes , so that we did not miss the continuity by listening to the story ( in case there was power cut/other unavoidable circumstances).

8: I was very fond of gardening . I used to grow flowers in in front/back yard of the house. ( was lucky to have the space for the same ). Sunflowers actually change direction and synchronize their faces with the sun.For us it was nothing less than a wonder. Similarly there were other flowers which used to bloom at particular time of the day/night.Growing flower was some sort of competition then , there was healthy competition as all friends were some sort of gardeners.As i recollect , Marigold was the flower which did require least care.

9: Another specific event during summer vacation was cricket match with teams from neighborhood localities. We used to contribute money for the match , half of investment was for the chewing gum to be used for the match. Usually chewing gum was at stake for the game i.e. winning team used to get chewing from opposite team with a lot of handshakes and hugs. This explains the investment of the other half of the contributed amount. Everyone claimed to posses special cricketing knowledge. The height was when we used to believe in stories of kapil hitting six in Lords and the ball did fall in Eden gardens!!.

10: Evening walks were concluded only when mosquitoes were swarming over the head. Friend having maximum number of mosquitoes over the head was termed as Mosquito king. This was followed by game of transferring the king's crown .As none of us wanted to have that crown over our head, the activity was associated with a lot of noise and running.

11: Summer is season of mangoes. we used to explore all the mango trees in and around the locality. Eating the unripe mango ( Kaeri , as it is called ) with salt is literally mouth watering . I wanted to own a mango tree , when i said this to mom , she said it takes 5 years for a mango seed to become a tree. I sown the mango seed. Looked after my would-be-mango-tree-with-mangoes for three years . Sadly,dad was transferred from the place , so we had to relocate . However,i did get the information later on that the small plant actually did become a big mango tree and people were actually eating fruit from the same. Sometimes to souls which love each other have to separate for ever. But i am happy as i know the dream of having a mango tree was fruitful.

12: Summer is the season of the he power cuts ( At least it is felt most in summer season ). I used to wonder why they cut power so frequently in summer. Dad used to explain, "there is extra load due to heavy usage in summer season". He used to earnestly make statement , " India is a poor country and we don't have enough power". Power cuts also lead to common point of discussion with everyone cursing the bleak power scenario. Power cut led people to come out of houses to get some relief and socialize at the same time. Strangely , we find good things even in sufferings.

Its great to trace back and locate the hobbies which we don't write in our resumes, they surely shape our lives. Moments of innocence , of great learnings , of curiosity , awe , anxiety ; a lot of things happen in the journey called life.The beginning , sometimes can be traced easily and sometimes with difficulty. May be we learn many things from time spent with books , at the same time, time spent away from books are not less important , specially during summer vacations. Summer is not that bad season if the vacation word is associated with the same.

p.s : Moments mentioned above did take place at various places in Bihar where peak summer season is May-June.