This picture I took of a kitty lounging in the summer sun in Istanbul last year, makes me long for a day like that one. I wish I could find a grassy little spot under a tree and just stretch out, with a book and let my thoughts wander. This weekend may very well be the last lazy one we enjoy. A big move is on the cards for June and we need to get started with packing up our life here. And…we’re getting a light drizzle almost everyday, so the monsoon isn’t that far away.
Somehow, doesn’t summer seem to always be full of so many things to look forward to? As kids, summer vacation meant plans for craft projects, hide and seek, late night card games, board games and climbing up every tree in sight, whether there were fruits to be had or not. It also held the promise of travelling to a new place. My dad is a civil engineer, and was usually posted to different parts each year. School year began with either a vivid essay or a drawing of some memory of the lovely, jobless time spent licking orange flavoured ice lollies. Mangoes were another treat that summer never failed me at. I miss sinking my teeth into a huge slice of cool water melon.
When we lived in Nasik, my sis, our best friend and I would plan sleep overs on our terraces. We’d spend the evening lugging up bedding, mosquito coils and other meagre comforts up the rickety ladder propped up at my friend’s house. Going up was so dandy. While the other two slithered down skillfully, I had to be coaxed down like a cat stuck on a tree. I now am so grateful for their patience. They never gave up on me, and never stopped making plans to go sleep on the terrace. And there we’d lie, looking up at the sky, marvelling at the twinkling stars. Slowly, we’d pop off to sleep, conversations terminating mid-sentence, tired from all the planning and several trips up and down.
As we would be flopping around through the day, waiting for the ice-cream cart to come by, I don’t recall much parental supervision or interference. We were happy they were at bay, they were probably enjoying the much needed break too. When it got really hot, we’d fill up a tank with water and get in, in our bathing suits. That was pretty much the only time the bathing suits came out, unless we were away for a beach holiday.
What do kids do today to while away the abundance of time in summer vacations? How come we don’t make these plans anymore? Why did we really want to grow up so fast, when it seems obvious now, that there is no greater joy that just soaking up the sun?