With the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with summer.
the swim in the river, climbing up the mango trees, eating sugarcane right off the fields, I still remember Lachchi cutting the tall canes, eating one cane meant mouth ulcers, and we would get caught when we ate rice the next day, since we would have mouth sores.
Mangoes like I said eaten in great quanities without worrying about their state of ripeness, again meant an upset tummy but who cared… we just had nellichattu that is the gooseberry concoction garnished with garlic and went our way. the mangoes did not have to go to the market so we did everyone a favour by eating them.
That is how it seemed when I was a child, April 10th, was the day summer arrived, till the 22nd of May when we went back to the school, heralding the rains, that seem to share our sorrow, at the same wash the languidity settled, and cleansed out minds to the set of adventures.
Well summer is here again, summer… the endless summer… I loved and hated summer. Summer has a logic of its own, they brought nostalgic memories in me, that was about freedom and youth and no school… it brought infinite possibilities of adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope, I loved that and I still love it, because it makes me want to believe.
Yet I have begun to hate it, the children’s summer camp, “grooming your child” “harnessing the creativity” we are not letting the child be, we are so much into controlling. My daughter who is first year professional college tells me, mom, finally I will have a holiday with no holiday homework.
In the poem Barah masa the poet Ravidas, says the heat of summer makes animals languid. They need to do nothing except laze under the shady trees. my own favourite is the extract from BhattaBana
Śveta-ambhaḥ-kaṇikā-citena vapuṣā śīta-anila-sparśanaṃ
tarṣa-utkarṣa-juṣā mukhena śiśira-svaccha-ambu-pāna-ādaraḥ |
dūra-adhva-klama-niḥsahair avayavaiś chāyāsu viśrāntayaḥ
kaśmīrān parito nidāgha-samaye dhanyaḥ paribhrāmyati ||
The touch of a cool breeze upon skin soaked in drops of sweat. The service a sip of cold pure water renders to a mouth tormented by thirst. Resting limbs weak with the exhaustion of a long journey in shady spots. In the hot season, small blessings are to be found all over Kaśmīra.
The summer… is here when the entire world is drowsy so shall we snooze…