You waited excitedly for the train journey which was to be spent sitting next to the window, air blowing fiercely in the face. Watching how plants and trees zoom past as the train chuggs forward. The familiar chuk-chuk sound made by the engine imitated by holding your palm vertical to lips and blowing air through it. Reaching grand parents’ house, assured to stay until the summer holidays were over, while mind already running ahead making plans for all the games that were promised to be played ‘next summer’, last summer.
Playing in the scorching sun, returning home with thoughts of ripe yellow mangoes which had to be had after lunch. And because you were on a holiday, you could have as many as you wanted. Heading for a nap with a bulging belly and grandma lovingly caressing your head while you slept beside her. Evenings filled with visits to little shops for your mother’s shopping plan and becoming excited to see there was an ‘exhibition’ which can be visited later in the evening. Those tora-tora and giant-wheel rides in which you adamantly sat, despite elders warning that you might get sick. Beaming later for not having become sick. Eating all kinds of chaats and huge ‘delhi-pappads’.
Quarrelling with cousins after the novelty of start-of-holiday waned off. Grandparents trying to placate each of you by bribing with foods and toys you loved. Mom making you open that bundle of customary ‘holiday-homework’, which meant answering the question papers you already answered during the exam (still haven’t figured out why they made us do that). And actually doing the homework when there is only one week left for school to re-open.
It’s almost time to leave, and you don’t know where the time went. You still have so much to talk and play. So many more things to explore in that quaint little town of your grandparents’. You are not even excited to see that your father has arrived to take you back. ‘Oh why can’t I just stay here and go to school with cousins?’ is the only question running in your mind on the last day of your stay.
The whole family comes to see you off at the railway station. The familiar noise, the familiar smell of the platform does nothing to stop tears which keep flowing from your eyes. Your mother and grandparents are smart enough not to show them, though you know they are weeping too. Finally the train arrives carrying much more noise of all those returning back from their summer-holidays, which once again breaks your heart. But you go ahead and board the compartment to quickly find a seat next to the window, to see your family waving and passing by as the train moved ahead.
Once again, the wind blows in your face and wipes the tears. Again the passing trees occupy your mind and you start wondering how fast the train might be going. You are soon drowned in the conversation inside the compartment and join some kids playing a game. As your home nears, the thoughts of all things new at school excites you. New bag, new shoes, new books and you also need to bind the books, not to forget the name stickers. Ah how could you forget your school friends who played with you everyday, the whole year? How wonderful it would be to know what they did during vacation. And you pray that a particular ‘Miss’ doesn’t come to your class this year.
Start of a new school year and you are a year senior, proud to grow up. But the memory of all the past summer-holidays still stay you with you, fresh as yesterday. And you know you will go back to that again at the end of every year. Only, what you don’t know is, not forever.
Because you GROW UP!
You grow up and get a job and start a whole new life, only to find that there are no more summer-holidays. No more jumping around with kids, no more afternoon siestas and no more as-many-as-you-like mangoes because obviously they’ve become as expensive as gold. And nostalgia strikes every now and then, bringing tears of mixed emotions. You are happy that you could do all that and you are sad that you can no more do that.
Thats life, you’d say. But no, it doesn’t have to be.
Nostalgic is what you are now,
Emotional and look how.
With all those memories
Of the gone days,
Running in your eyes
And it always says,
You can go back
Go back to the old days,
Only you need to
Find out your own ways.
Through your thoughts,
Through lovely dreams
Or through memories
That have no seams.
Or catch that train tomorrow
To the place you’ve always known.
Where grandma will be waiting
And sweet mangoes are still grown
Updated:I’d like to turn this post into a tag, as I’m curious to know about your childhood memories of summer-holidays. There are no rules. You don’t even have to write a poem (though it’d be nice if you do). You just have to dig out your brain for those threads of sweet memories of your child hood summers.
Guys don’t get schoked to get a tag from a new blog, I used to blog at ‘mypricelesslife’ 🙂 Hope you remember. And please do link back so I know if and when you post about this.