Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Days of Summer...


The mercury has shot up to almost 50 degrees. Even the sunset does not quell the heat. There is no reprive apart from staying indoors in an air conditioned environment. I guess I should not complain.. no power cuts, no water shortage, The kids commuting to their school in Ac coaches. But then again there is more to life than being indoors.

It seems like a summer from another life, when kids played the entire day with other children. All wearing white vests and knickers. They gathered at a friend's place and made jugs full of rasna. Dilligently mixing all the sachets and the small glass bottle with its tight plastic cap that at times needed teeth to pull open. The stirring of the sugary water and the rasna ingredients had a magical charm, that is missing in the bottled lemonades of today.

A shower later the tiny bodies all white with prickly heat powder gathered again to play house or just throw a ball around. Certain afternoons were spent watching a grandmother make delicious mango pickle in the inner courtyard. Salivating mouths in anticipation of a lick. The eager hands ready to help, the admonishing gestures from the grandmother. Does seem like another life.

There were escapades that mothers didn't worry about. A group of kids climbing and stealing mangoes from trees that had been leased out. The watchman running after with a stick, kids shoving the loot in their vests and the run away and beyond. The breathless laughter, the scraping of the mangoes on rough cemented walls. The bite into it's sour flesh, at times lucky to have managed a bit of salt in the pocket. Mothers those days were not worried about infections or a tan from the heat. It was ok to be dirty and brown.

The best part being the evenings when all the kids watered their respective terraces and gardens. The plants soaking in the cool water and the attention. The kids were allowed to play with the hose pipes, drench themselves and the lawns. run muddy legged into the house dripping water all the way to the bathroom. After towelling dry and more of that prickly heat powder, hair combed and parted neatly, the bucket of water soaked mangoes was a treat for all the senses. To sit in a circle around that bucket and choose your pick.. a delight as sweet, if not more than any alphonso mango.

Nights were usually under the stars, The watered terrace, now cool. the gentle and soothing breeze from the Neem and Mango trees. The sky boundless in its stars, the moon peeping in through the white mosquito nets. Stories of fairies and demons. Castles won and princesses saved. Counting days left until schools reopened. An end to yet another fruitful and adventurous day. A promise of endless more such days to come.

Yes summers from my childhood in Baroda, Gujarat does seem like another life.

17 comments:

Kishore choudhary said...

very touchy and well written post.
minute details are impressive....

The eager hands ready to help, the admonishing gestures from the grandmother. Does seem like another life.


Mothers those days were not worried about infections or a tan from the heat. It was ok to be dirty and brown.

beautiful.... keep going on

LOVABLE BLOG

Shivi said...

Everything seemed to have happened just b4 my eyes! So true! Quite repleneshing. Summers in small towns n villages in India are still similar! Thats why I love going home in Summers!

sujata said...

Thanks @Kishore for like the details, its in these details that your roots live forever.

@Shivi thanks for the comments, cheers to the small towns of India!! By the way am still waiting to comment on your fab blog..do something to the settings please!!

शोभना चौरे said...

bhut sundar chitran bchpan likul bandish nhi chahta .

Ajit Ray said...

Very nicely described..

Babli said...

Thanks for your sweet comment.
Very beautiful. I liked this post very much as it is very very touching and you have written extremely well.
Have a look at my new blog.

sujata said...

Thanks @Shobhanaji for visiting my blog and liking it.

@Babli I visit all three of your blogs regularly and love each of them, but in the latest blog I am unable to post comments.

@Ajit thanks for making my day again!

Yira said...

Great post and beautiful blog. I'll be sure and return. I, too remember those carefree summer days in the Dominican Republic.

कुश said...

Jug of rasna took me back in a golden era.. beautifully executed thoughts..

Indrani said...

So true, Sujata.
You have taken me back to those days. Where have they gone?
Our children have a different kind of childhood. Wonder if they are enjoying.

sujata said...

@Ira thanks for stopping by. I am sure its to do with our generation rather than the place we all stayed in. You maintain a super blog loved it!

@Kush thanks for stopping by. The jug of rasna was what summer was all about for us.

@Indrani, I really wonder too where the days have gone. But am sure our kids are doing great and having a whole lot of fun, probably the definition has changed.

Sujatha said...

Lovely post Sujata. This one and the two below - the one about how we bring up our daughters and the one about bullying - they echo so many of my own thoughts.

ज़ाकिर अली ‘रजनीश’ said...

नाइस पोस्‍ट।

-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }

Nikki said...

Hello! What a wonderful post! I did all of that.. played house, watched my nani make chunda!

Today, the building courtyard has become the parking lot. No more playing outside for kids. I dread to think what will my kids do!

Awesome post!

अनिल कान्त : said...

lovely and touching post...I like it...

Nikki said...

Blog updated!

sujata said...

@Nikki great days were'nt they? I think your kids will have a super time as well..its just that you might find it tough identifying to whats 'cool' anymore.. chkd the update!!

@Anil thanks