I’d like to introduce you to Neenu from Mirror of Enlightenment!
Today we’re taking part in a Blog Swap, courtesy of 20 Something Bloggers, about Childhood summer vacations. Here’s Neenu’s story…
Summer in God’s Own Country
I was born in ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala, a small state in the southern end of India.
The beautiful landscape adorned by lush green coconut trees, paddy fields and many small lakes, rivers and backwaters earned it the title of being ‘God’s Own Country’.
My childhood summer vacations were mostly spend with my Granny and cousins at our ancestral home, tucked away in a remote and beautiful village in Kerala. I would start dreaming about summer, months before the school closed and as soon as vacation starts, I would rush off to Granny’s place.
We would catch a bus till the local bus stop and then walk a few kilometers to Granny’s. I loved the walk. The bumpy road would cut straight through rubber plantations and small streams. I would spend hours soaking my legs in the cool water of the stream and counting the number of tiny fishes that brush past my legs. Houses on the roadside would be filled with the sounds of people merrily going about their work, tiny tots chasing each other, elderly ladies sitting outside their homes and gossiping while chopping vegetables or carefully cutting homegrown jackfruits. Jackfruit was the most popular fruit of the area and no summer vacation was complete without munching those small yellow yummy fruit.
My Granny had a rubber plantation, paddy field and a variety of trees ranging from coconut trees to jackfruit trees growing all around her house. The house looked like it was build right in the middle of a jungle and she had cows and hens at home. Reaching her house was nothing short of an adventure for me.
All my uncles, aunts and cousins would come from distant places to spend the vacation together.
It would be chaos as everyone chattered incessantly, filling each other on everything that had happened in their households. Aunties would be in kitchen making food and laughing and teasing each other. All the uncles would be seated in the veranda, talking animatedly about current political scenario, finance, business and lots of other important and boring stuff.
We kids would assemble in front of TV, talking and switching channels. Granny would be moving between the three groups with a tray filled with food- jackfruits, mangoes, bananas and various home made delicacies.
It was customary for us to have all the meals together. So everyone would crowd around the small dinning table and have food. Granny was very particular that we should all be well fed and she personally saw to it that everyone had their plates full at all points of the meal. She would scold us children and wouldn’t let us leave the table until we had finished eating everything that she had piled up on our plate.
During the evenings, we kids would go for a walk or go swimming in the pond nearby or would play cricket on the road. Kids from the neighborhood and sometimes uncles would also join us for games. Running carefree, chasing each other, climbing trees and playing, summer vacations always ended too soon.
At the end of the vacation, Granny would pack our bags with a variety of food items and the much loved jackfruit, to take back to our homes in different cities.
We would bid each other a teary farewell with the promise to meet soon. As we turn back for a final goodbye, granny would wave at us smiling like an angel. Childhood summer vacations were indeed the best vacations of my life..