Sizzling summers and siesta

Once we scratch the surface, we find there’s more to the season than meets the eye
Last Updated : 07 April 2023, 20:51 IST

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Summer at once brings to mind cold showers twice a day, gulping down ice-cold water, tank tops and shorts, a dollop or two of ice cream now and then, and of course, mosquitoes, which are immune to the repellents and the speed of our fans by now!

But once we scratch the surface, we find there’s more to the season than meets the eye. For me, up until high school, typical summer Sundays were a mixture of productivity and laziness. Starting off with a hair wash, which in itself was an elaborate ritual, we’d have some light breakfast and relax by reading newspaper articles.

After that, my father would compel me to solve “advance” math problems, much to my dislike, while he organised groceries bought from the bustling Yeshwanthpur market.

On some days, he’d even be busy gardening while I slogged at finding the ‘ex’ to my math’s ‘why’. But his efforts paid off, as I started taking interest in them in grade 9.

I could never finish solving all the questions; the session typically ended bitterly with tears rolling down my cheeks or my mother coming to my rescue by ringing the lunch bell!

As the years went by, the routine changed. I would be up in my room studying, and my parents would decide the menu.

This time, post-lockdown, the summers have completely changed.

The complex but fascinating process of pickle-making that my maternal family indulged in every year stopped when the coronavirus took over our lives. And, my parents aged, so we started buying pickles from our grocer at the end of our street and tended to older plants in the garden.

Once or twice a week, the scene changed to my sister’s house as we had lunch with her family. They too had taken up gardening, making it a shared family ritual. Our days would revolve around my niece and her antics, trying to squeeze in some yoga or workouts when time permitted, and, of course, digital screens!

Slowly but surely, as the city changed, so did the summer scene. Negotiating bad roads and persisting traffic, plus the shooting humidity, makes one long for the comfort of indoors.

And even in the house, many typical summer Sunday activities have given way to the luxury of an afternoon siesta with my parents. Summers, after all, are incomplete without them!

Published 07 April 2023, 17:19 IST

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