May 15th to July 15th was the time I used to wait for when I was in school. That was the summer vacation of my school.2 months freedom and holidays! My young siblings too used to be equally excited about the most awaited freedom of two months! Though the summer temperature in my hometown Dehradun never crossed 35 degrees, we often used to chill out at nearby places around Dehradun.
Sahastradhara, Lachhiwala, Rishikesh, Haridwar are few beautiful popular picnic spots at a few hours distance from Doon. We kids used to plan for the outings excitedly and pack our fancy sunshades, caps, camera, ball, Frisbee and what not. Mom used to make our favourite Rajma or Choley for Lunch, and Dad, on our popular demand used to bring cold drinks crates. The summer heat, the rising temperature, the fatigue, all used to vanish in seconds when we had the rivers in sight! And my happy family used to take a dip in the cool rivers together. Splashing water at each other, trying to learn swimming from my parents, teasing, shouting, trekking in the green valleys, refusing to come out of the waterfalls, capturing the scenic beauty of the valleys in our cameras, longing to stay there for some more time, Parents and Kids behaving alike …Ah! I wish I could bring back the past. These are the special moments which summer vacations have given me .I can never forget the charm of those places which we used to visit each year and return home with the promise of visiting next year again during summers.
My dad is a businessman. People often think that only businessmen can spare time for their families while servicemen can’t. However I don’t think so. We used to freak out only during weekends and so is the similarity for servicemen..Times have changed, workloads have increased (so has the temperature). I am a working professional myself and I am constrained by time. My brother who is a college going boy now, cribs on his short summer vacations. Dad is also bogged by the increasing workload of his business. Yet, summers are special for us. We still eagerly look forward for an outing in Mussorie or Dhanaulti.
Once in 2007, we missed our train on the day of departure and had to wait on Nizamuddin platform for 6 more hours for the next train. The train journey of 22 long hours from Delhi to Nagpur was extremely tiring, I swear. But my happy family tried to cheer up the environment with songs and jokes while my gadget freak brother made us play games. I enjoyed the view from the train window. The train leaving behind the farms, rivers, forests, pastures, villages were just mesmerizing. Maasi’s sweet home, my wonderful cousins, the spicy dishes of Nagpur, the lovely picnic places made it a rocking summer vacation. It was the best summer vacation we had- a lovely reunion with my Maasi’s family after 10 years. My newly wed Bhabhi and I gelled like house on fire. Who can forget the sevpoori and sengdaana chutney. I fell in love with the Maharashtran dishes. The temples and forts of Nagpur are a never forgetting experience for me. My cousins, maasi, mausaji, mom dad, bro and I celebrated our togetherness with an in-house dance party. Surprisingly I saw my bro dancing for the first time! Pastries, ice-creams, soft drinks(that too neat) chilled the warm night. My cousins used to chit chat with me till late night and showed me the wonderful city of oranges NAGPUR during the day time.
Nagpur remains warm throughout the year, but such a vacation dosen’t happen every day. Anything for such a wonderful reunion and a memorable summer vacation. My first visit to Nagpur will always be close to my heart. Yes, summers still have the charm and I plan to go to Manali very soon. Workload has nothing to do with the much awaited summer vacation and let go all the worries for some time.
Feeling nostalgic now!!