Heat, sweat and the sticky feeling of here we go again. There is no turning away from this unpleasant situation. It’s the time of the year when summer throws its arms around you in a warm hug. For the well-heeled, the season augurs happy times—going to the beach, lolling up in the bed and watching TV all day long. But for many it’s out-of-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire kind of situation with power outages and water scarcity adding to the misery.
Summer means different things to different people. For some vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it. But moms and dads dread its onset for a different reason. With schools closed, tranquillity goes for a toss. Summer vacation and kids make a good working definition of hell. One makes you sweat and the other fret. The little ones get into the hair and there is no way you can shake them away. Hot days and hotter nights. To remain holed up in home is to tie oneself up in knots. What do you expect the kiddies to do if not let out the steam. When they turn a Kohli then the idiot box and glassware go for a six.
But of late children are being deprived of their well-deserved holidays. For many there is no escape from the classroom. Even as temperature soars, some schools and colleges are conducting special classes in the name of improving academic performance. What about children’s right to holidays? On the contrary, some educational institutions are holding summer camps that impart skills and hone the innate talent of students. Summer Samurai, the holiday special programme of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society, has become a good hunting ground for talent. Malavath Poorna, the tribal girl who ended up scaling Mount Everest, discovered her mountaineering skills here. Such programmes of course help kids get into a positive frame of mind and imbibe the can-do spirit.
Time was when summer vacation meant a grand get-together of families—catching up with cousins, recalling granny’s tales and indulging in oodles of fun and frolic. Unfortunately smartphones have snatched away this good clean fun too. Today’s kids live in the virtual world. They would rather go for gaming on mobiles than play outdoors. A few love to bury their nose in a thriller while some like to just laze around. Of course summer is when languor finds respectability. Whatever happened to games like gilli-danda, marbles, kho-kho, and chor-sipahi? These favourite activities of the 1960s and 70s are on the verge of extinction now. Time the traditional Indian games are revived.