I read a secret seven mystery, after maybe two decades. It was a book my niece had left behind after her holiday. What can I say, I not only enjoyed the book but felt the suspense, too. After all, it was the summer holidays!
Since when I can remember, summer holidays meant going to Kerala where the grand parents were. And, since when my mother discovered my love for reading, I was bought a book to read in the train.
During the Nancy Drew – Hardy Boy’s phase, I could barely resist starting the book, which my prudent mother had bought only the day before the journey, in the railway station, while waiting for the train that was already late.
I always asked for and got the topmost berth and there I stayed reading and munching and occasionally, coming down to have the Indian railways meal. I barely saw the landscape then, I did not care much for it all. It was just an annual ritual, which brought much happiness to my mother and father.
Mom used to be joyous and radiant, yes, incandescently so. Dad, what with his quick humour and ability to make anybody laugh, had an air of lightness and belonging, here with his family and among his childhood friends.
I, find myself, in their shoes now. Of course, there really are no three-day long train journeys and connection trains. But, the annual ritual continues.
The pace of the days is so deliciously and languorously slow that there is no place for stress. The children are left to themselves, because unlike in the cramped apartment, there is always someone looking on them and there is always something to do.
Sometimes, it is time for the cows to be milked or the goats to be tied at a greener patch of grass. Or, a group of peacocks decide to prance through the tall grasses in all their pride. The sun hides behinds clouds and the dragonflies hover above us in the afternoons.
There are things to look forward to, like their grandfathers’ coming home in the evening with a chocolate for each of them or the nice lady coming by to drop the day’s milk.
While I am busy catching up with the news of all in the families, meeting relatives, indulging in a bit of shopping and making plans of the next get-together at either the engagement or wedding or some celebration that is bound to happen in the days we are there, little madam and chotte nawab discover them selves with a sense of freedom and independence.
(something I wrote soon after the holidays at home and forgot about)
...added because, summer holidays are always, green and bright :)