A large part of our childhood is made of summer vacations at our Grandmother’s house. It is the single most vibrant memory full of being pampered, getting stuffed like a roasted chicken, made-up games that ended up in fights and screaming matches with cousins and days that ended too quickly. 

With dirty faces and flayed knees, we ran around amok like a flock of wild geese with no sense of propriety or fear of parents. In short, it was unadulterated freedom served to us in huge beautiful summer away from studies and parents.   

Even as summer heat roasted us red and brown, it still was hard to tame us and get us to stay put in one place. It feels like another lifetime when our energy was limitless and wicked ideas came to us in spades. 

My grandmother was a warm oasis of affection who told me mythical stories, showed me constellations, fed me mysterious things and scolded my cousins when they left me out from their games because I was the only girl. She protected me from my parents when I fell off a cliff while aping my brothers in acts of daring and bravery which they specifically told me not to do.  

When you are all grown up, the whole meaning of summer vacations changes. In college, it is either interning, vacationing at some exotic place or staring at your ceiling fan filled with the existential crisis while your work is calling your name with the insistence of that one clingy ex. 

The summer vacations at grandmother are not similar to what you were used to. The annoying cousins are all grown up with their noses stuck deep down their books and breaking manly voice under the pretext of which they act like gangsters but come off like cheap cronies. The communication is no longer around a carrom board pulling each other’s leg relentlessly but sitting in the same room and sending each other inane texts. 

The whole ecstatic environment has changed and feels grown-up. 

You are no longer spending your days out in summer heat creating havoc with the relentless energy of a child who has a lot of time and no worries. You are cooped up inside the four walls and still staring at your ceiling fan worrying about the trivialities of life. Even in the face of the broken arm, you were dauntless and strong, a small paper-cut can now result in complete breakdown.

However, Grandmother is the only constant. Even though she is old now and suffering her own health woes. She still scolds you for being thin, not coming to meet her and not regularly calling her. She still sings her hymns in the low lilt and you still wake up to her low humming at the break of dawn. She still protects your bad habits from your parents and spoils you rotten with her affection and love. 

The timeless quality of that one amazing summer is fading and only your memory preserves it. But whenever you are feeling blue and low, that memory will always serve as a constant source of happiness. 

Feature Image Credits: lisa.falson via Instagram.

Antriksha Pathania
[email protected]