BANGALORE: Summer was when the children got their place under the sun. After a full term of curbing their instincts and cramming for the exams to ensure they become something when they grow up, they finally get the freedom to catch up with their childhood and do what they have always been craving to after they finished their exams.
From the restrictions imposed by the study room and the elders’ threats, the young ones used to tear away into those wide open spaces that once graced Bangalore, giving them all the freedom in every sense of the word. A piece of wood and a ragged ball was enough to keep them engaged the whole day.
Alternatively, they would mount those rickety rented bicycles and pick up more friends along the way, going around exploring new territories of their neighbourhood, stopping here at a mango vendor or for an ice candy from a wooden cart there.
Or they would just pick up their favourite comic books and climb up the guava tree in the garden, biting at the fruit and flipping the pages.
The local library is another haunt where they pull out a variety of books off their well-stacked slotted angle shelves.
And back home, it’s time to play with the pup, draw a train or make a model aeroplane. An old undulating carrom board, which has a sloping surface from supporting household goods, is brought down from the attic and after a few games, is abandoned since the striker refuses to move uphill. After a bout of snakes and ladders and traditional grandma’s games, a coded whistle from across the wall is a signal that beckons the boy next door, where the neighbour shows off his new Meccano set and the latest stamp collection.
Getting through a day never seemed a problem. And after they’re done with everything, it’s time to pack the old metal trunks and head for the annual vacation with the family.
Today, laptops, video games, summer and cricket camps abound, but children and their parents in the city still seem to find time hanging heavily.