To me, vacations meant travel. Summer break was a time away from home, friends, books and school. We travelled every year, usually to my grandparents’ homes in Madikeri, Coorg.
My maternal grandparents’ home was a picture of warmth. A small cosy home, but seeped in love. My grandfather would grind fresh dosa batter by hand in a big grinding stone kept in an alcove under the stairs. We kids would sit next him listening to stories – fascinated by the magic that turned dull soaked rice into a soft white cloud of batter. The rhythmatic churning was almost therapeutic.
Much like Malgudi days, my cousin and I would have many afternoons free to loiter around the backyard and around the neighbourhood. This was it. Stories, play and long summer days. The house had beautiful nooks and corners. Old letters and nick-knacks from my mother’s childhood forgotten in the attic.
Cool red oxide floor under my feet and warm sunshine coming in through the single glass tile in my grandfather’s attic – office. To this day, I miss that home.
Each year summer vacations were exactly the same. But instead of being a boring routine, it gave me grounding and support that has surely carried me through many good and not so good cycles of life.
To this day, I would trade a trip to a swanky city with a trip to a village. Many Indian villages are made of the same fabric – Simplicity and content. I hope you have all, at some point had the privilege of enjoying such times.