My Autobiography – Summer Holidays!

Summer-holidays

Summer holidays during school days are some of the best memories for everyone. I was no different. We literally used to wait for those summer holidays, so that we could escape from the ‘tyranny’ of school and exams. How strange, what was once tyranny is sweet memory now. Does that mean that what we are going through today might become sweet memories in a distant future? Possible.

I don’t remember cribbing about the sun, during summer. We routinely used to play cricket, sometimes starting from 3-4 O’ clock in the evenings, which was definitely not pleasant weather in the summer heat of Chennai. Since I was living in flats, I had a lot of like-minded friends who were passionate about playing, and we played every other indoor and outdoor game we could think of. In the mornings, we were allowed to play only indoor games.

Oh, our fun activities were never restricted to games. Fortunately, back then, we had a large play ground and a large garden (with mostly grass and weed). One of our favorite activities was to build a tent in the garden. It’s nothing like what professional mountaineers make, but ours was special in its own way. We broke many branches and used them as fencing walls, we used the leaves to cover the sides (and the top) to make it a private tent. And we used a password, for making the tent even more secure. Well, the door would be opened only if someone from outside told the password correctly 🙂

Indoor games were really fun. We loved playing ‘Trade’/’Business’, where everyone got some money and they can buy cities at the roll of a die. We loved playing a game called ‘Risk’ where we needed to keep a certain amount of army in various countries and defend them (again with a die). We played various versions of card games, chess and carrom board. We played WWF cards and indoor cricket. It’s real cricket but played inside the house, obviously when parents are not around. If we were tired, we would shift to book cricket.

Cartoons and play-stations were virtually non-existent, back then. We had smaller battery operated video games, which we could hold in our hands and play. That became a rage back then and we would group together and play each other’s video game. If one of our friends had a VCR, they’ll call everybody when they rent a new video cassette. We saw a few English movies and many Tamil movies that way. I remember seeing one ghost movie where everything turns green as ghosts infect you and a person lives in a town filled with such ghosts. I didn’t sleep properly for the next one week!

Summer holidays also meant visits to grandmother’s house. We would now team up with a gang of cousins (it was a joint family) and have loads of fun. I wonder how we found simple and silly activities, funny. One of them was calling ‘Anil’ loudly from the window behind and a boy called ‘Anil’ came before the window (Actually I was calling the squirrel, which is called anil in Tamil, but there was a marwari family living right behind us). He asks, ‘what?’. I am all surprised, but regain my composure and say, ‘I want a table-rose’. He plucks one branch and gives it to me. This happens continuously for a few summers!

When the school was about to start, we had to buy new uniforms, shoes, pencil-box, books, note books, etc. We used to sit for a whole day covering and labeling our notebooks. It was such a difficult task back then that we would sleep twice in-between 🙂

Recollecting all these things now, I feel that today’s kids are missing so many things – The big ground, the barren garden, climbing trees, jumping compound walls, butterflies, dogs, cats, kites, parks, terrace, indoor-outdoor games, famous five/secret seven’s, WWF, early morning cycle rides, breaking windows (by playing cricket), etc. The cartoon channels, computer games/play-stations, IPL and lack of open space to play, are to blame? No idea.

Destination Infinity

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20 Replies to “My Autobiography – Summer Holidays!”

  1. I loved loved loved loved thisp ost. made me recollect so many of my summer memories.
    I so agree with you on the kids missing out on the fun. The only solace is that probably they are having better “fun” then their kids. But really miss on all that face-to-face fun vs. the facebook fun now 🙁
    Also, I loved your line — Does that mean that what we are going through today might become sweet memories in a distant future? Possible.

    🙂

    1. The kids of today, having better fun than their kids of tomorrow is a revealing statement. Perhaps fun is strictly in the relative sense and the kids are not missing out on them?

      Destination Infinity

    1. Yes. Waiting to read your account. My grandmother has told me that they lived without fans and electricity (for sometime) and that has always amazed me. Perhaps your’s is the radio generation. I don’t see many people writing about the radio. Why don’t you?

      Destination Infinity

  2. Perfectly put together… I completely agree, never used to complain about the sun and now steeping out seems like a new challenge altogether… I remember those normal shops that used to keep big video games outside and we used to go there have a run for Rs 20 or so… my kid will say, you are that ancient… 🙂

    1. Those video game shops came when I was almost stepping into adolescence. I did play a few, but I lost the charm for them by then! The sun factor still stuns me 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  3. my summer holidays were all spent in my village , having fun in the open fields enjoying the daysss and the sun .. we were always out and about unlike now when kids jsut sit and watch tele

    a lovely read DI brought some beautiful memories .. Thank you

    Bikram’s

    1. I have never had that village experience. I wonder why all our relatives were in towns? I wish I could have been to villages whey I was younger.

      Destination Infinity

  4. yes..they are the best preserved memories!!! I’ve done all that you said – WWF, book cricket, nondi (aeroplane), kabadi, climbing the guava tree, sitting on top of the tank and reading famous five…they were totally fun days! These days kids definitely miss those! They can’t even cycle on the road!

    1. We used to get rented bicycles (small ones, before buying our own). They used to come for 1 rupee per hour. Oh, what fun it was riding on them! The best part was riding the cycle on the main road. That was thrilling 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  5. You have revived the beautiful memories of playing with dolls, hide and seek climbing trees….nostalgic posts.

    1. I realized I didn’t include playing with toys. But that was much earlier, and I don’t remember much of it. I faintly remember a construction set and a car that made quite an amount of sound. We called the hide and seek as ‘Ice boys’. We played it till I was much older! Yeah, the thoughts are nostalgic! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  6. What a lovely post! Taken me down memory lane ….. yes, I see so much difference in everything we did and what our children are doing today. They are mostly indoors now. May be due to lack of open space or may may be there is tv, internet and what not.

    1. Yes. But today’s kids want nothing less than a playstation! And still, they are not satisfied!

      Destination Infinity

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