Summer holidays have arrived with hope and excitement. Childhood memories come with sweetness and nostalgic fragrance. The days of strenuous studies and examinations are over by April in Kerala schools. The time of enjoyment shines with hot sun.
Occasional, small downpours and lightning would double the zing of young ones. They would play in the summer shower and roar when thunderclap appears. In olden days it was natural play grounds all over the village, the harvested paddy fields. The children in large number would turn to play the games of their like. In the evening, when the games were over, they would jump into our village river to swim and bath. One would compete with each other to become a winner. We would be playing till the night falls.
The village vacation had been always original. There we played with goats and kids; cows and calves. There had been no summer kids’ camp or any such facilities in our village. We didn’t even dream such things. But we had play ground, the Nature’s gift. We had the gifted spirit of innocence. The sky was our limit to the celebrations. We searched for new ideas to make the vacation, the real recreation.
During those days there were not even the thoughts of summer classes for next terms. Holiday classes were not so popular in those days. So there was no thought and pressure of holiday learning. We were totally free. Play-carts, handy-crafts, soil sculptures, sand arts, dramas and songs…the enjoyment had no limitations for the whole period.
It took few minutes to shift from one fun to another. We had no hunger or thirst until the amusements were over. We were least bothered about any other happenings around us. But mothers were more concerned and strained about the over-excitement of their children. They didn’t want them to play in the hot sun or occasional summer shower and late evenings. They ordered that children should not miss at least lunch.
Along the way, small wayside pandals with small groups of children inside were seen. They would sell some sweets and balloons. Mothers would warn children that everyone should be there in their homes before the sunset. But many had to break their promise each day. When they start to narrate the whole day’s event, mothers would forgive their kid’s Naughtiness.
There were many lessons to be learned from Nature. We could realize the love and care of birds and pets, the hard work of ants, swift movements of small fishes in the river, the rhythm of cuckoo’s songs and the beautiful lives of flowers and butterflies. We had some parrots on a short, dried coconut tree. But we could not reach near them. Mother parrots would feed the nestlings. If we made a small sound they would feel insecurity and make their twitter. We would try to hear their mimicry. We were afraid to see foxes, the present day endangered species in large number near the bushes at the river side. We enjoyed the whole holidays with spirited mind.
The endless passion for wonders of Nature goes beyond the limits of time. The childhood memories of school vacation come to the mind as a nice breeze.