May 08, 2010

Spirit of Summer Holidays

Summer madness.
You may have heard of it.
Summer freedom.
You may have witnessed it.
You will, if you stay home on weekdays.
Groups of young boys doing the rounds of the neighbourhoods, free from the drudgery of the routine of school and the burden of examinations.
Last week, still in bed as the clock sounded the morning hour of seven I heard a collective roar float across the colony.
It took some time for me to assume that the exclamations were coming in from the north where the local playground is located.
Later, as I left for work I noticed bands of boys of all sizes and shapes trudging out of the ground carrying bats, balls and stumps.
They must have had their fill of a quick cricket match played on empty stomachs and it was now time to take a break.
The boys wore colourful clothes. Tees, shorts, cargos.
Boys often want to amuse themselves all the time. Some just cannot keep their hands to themselves.
And in summer, there is only one target – mangoes.
There is a certain thrill in bringing down mangoes from trees in a neighbourhood garden. Looking for the proper stones, taking aim, knocking down the fruit and scampering from yelling house-owners or irritated watchmen.
Summer freedom.
The boys who live close to the beach enjoy a picnic every other day.
Patrolling policemen and warning boards do not stop these boys from doubling across the sands and diving into the sea.
They are always looking for adventure. Perhaps to hijack a lone catamaran. Or look for a perch that can serve as a diving board.
The sane among them paddle or roll around on the shore a dozen times and conduct another game of cricket on the sands. Beach cricket, like 20:20 has its own thrills.
Boys love to take out their cycles this season. Riding doubles and trebles adds to the thrill. There are nooks to be explored.
The quiet end of the beach, a leafy bungalow whose owners are out on their holidays or the far corner of  an untenanted campus.
Simple joys of summer hols.

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