Friday, May 05, 2006

Its Summers Again

The fan is humming slowly. Lying on the bed and facing the fan in my small room of hostel, I see it going round and round non-stop. The humid air weighs down on me like a thousand kilo. The sweat never leaves my skin. I again look at the fan thinking maybe it has stopped. Why can’t I feel the air? But when I look at the ceiling I realize the fan is still going round n round non-stop. This rhythmic motion of fan takes me to far of land, my home - Udaipur.

The summer holidays, after long, cruel and grilling exams, was always a pleasant change. While, during exams I was sleepy all the time, summer holidays I used to be up early and waiting to go out. During exams I used to curse heat because the pen used to constantly slip out of my hand because of sweat, during holidays the scorching sun was least of my worries. The air in Udaipur is not least bit humid and is always fresh and crisp. Sunburns and sunstroke are common factor there. To beat the heat, my mom used to keep the fridge sufficiently stocked through the summer with all the goodies. There used be all kinds of juices, kayri paani(juice of raw mango) and ice-creams. After a hard day of playing around in the sun, when I used to get back home a glass full of cold milkshake or kayri paani used to be ready for me to gulp down.

Then there were Mangoes. Summer holidays are never complete without mangoes. My house has some 3-4 mango trees. However hot it is during summers, my permanent address during those days was - "on top of mango tree". I, along with my sister and brother, would try and reach the farthest of raw mango hanging from a very thin branch. My dog used to bark continuously. Maybe, he also wanted to join us. My grandmother used to curse us for picking mangoes from the tree before they were ripe. Those days, climbing on the walls, climbing trees were never a worry for us. We thought ourselves to be born Tarzans.

The scorching sun used to get tired during evenings and that would give us official permission to go out. That was the time when my friends and I used to hit FatehSagar. That’s a huge lake in between of the city. During evenings, the colors of the sky used to splash itself on the water of the lake. The lake used to look like a huge canvas of a very well known painter, known as, God! Riding my kinetic with my sister, cousins and friends along FatehSagar, treating ourselves to orange candy, laughing on worst jokes, noticing guys with good looks and trying all stupid stunts to attract their attention. When evening became night and when colors of the sky vanished into the darkness of night, we never noticed. It was time to head back home. Home cooked meal, pampered by my mother, dinner table full of my family and my dog barking for that extra bit of sweet mango from my plate. All these marked the end of the day. Post dinner, TV room used to be filled by my family trying to catch up on gossip, while we kids were trying to catch up on the all movies which we were not allowed to see during our exams.

Late nights, which are forbidden during school days and exams days, used to be a hard earned reward. When my mother used to look at me to tell us that the reward points are long over and its time to hit the bed, I had no choice. She was still the boss of our house. The water cooler, which is better than A/C in the dry heat, is switched on to keep the room cool. The day is sealed to end with a kiss from my parents and the lights are switched off. The humming sound of cooler and fan on the ceiling sounds sweet to ears. With a blink of an eye, I am back to my hostel room, sweating under the fan and missing those days, when summers meant freedom.