Thursday, April 2, 2015

Everybody has a summer holiday......

Summer Camp

I saw them again the next day, huffing and puffing their way to the main gate of our premises. As the boy boarded a waiting van and Neetu waved at him, I got curious and decided to wait for her to spot me. She was panting, but sported a proud smile as she came near, blurting out “Rahul has become super busy now. I guess you guys are rarely meeting.” She elaborated. Rahul’s mornings were blocked with badminton classes, while the afternoons were spent in a summer camp.

What was he doing in the summer camp? Learning a host of things. Getting exposed to a variety of arts, ranging from pottery being done by ‘real’ potters, candle-making to western dance and even gymnastics.
All this was targeted at the creative spirit flourishing, Neetu gushed. Wasn’t it a little too much for a seven-year old? “Don’t such packed mornings and evenings exhaust him?” I ask meekly, slightly embarrassed for sounding so primitive. She pooh-poohed my concern as we came near our elevator. I was about to say something in defence of my questions when I noticed her attention riveted on the notice board. A fresh notice announced the commencement of swimming classes in our swimming pool. Also, karate classes would be ‘on’ next week onwards.

Leaving Neetu near the notice board to decide on her son’s fate for the next two months, I went on my way slightly confused, not sure if the Rahuls of this generation are moving too fast to enjoy their childhood days or are quickly transforming into rough and tough guys as they learn the art of multi-tasking with the other creative arts…whether they are moving towards burning out soon or are learning to be master of all trades.

Sipping tea, ensconced in the luxury of a relaxed afternoon and the cool breeze of a cloudy day, I went back to my old summer vacation days which would be lost in climbing trees, hanging from branches, jumping over walls and earning myself the ‘tomboy’ label. Stealthy trips to Grandma’s kitchen stocked up with jars of sweet and salty home-made savouries. Romping around in the garden as we dug into the raw mangoes that lent their fragrance to the fresh air. My imagination running wild as the huge garden turned into a forest one day while another day, it was the universe with each plant being a celestial body in disguise.

I was on a dilemma. Which would I choose if I were gifted with a second childhood? Where did the summer holidays magic lie? Creative juices flowing abundantly in those summer haunts from my childhood days or in today’s summer camps organized within the confines of apartment complexes?
Dreams getting nourished in the lap of nature or structured activities carried out within the strict limits of time? Those golden days of summer freedom or today’s summer camps soaked with creativity within the boundaries of concrete jungle?
The rest of the story is in Rays and Rains.

The reviews are in 

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