Summer vacations and marriage season in Patna

Ramblings of the guy who just can’t get over those wonderful childhood days….
So, its Marriage season on full swing now…The month of May…around this time our summer vacation would start…last day of school..last class before the bell…we would all feel like Neil Armstrong…one small class of SUPW….then one giant chhutti for rest of the summer…although the excitement was palpable only till standard 9th…after that, Xth Boards…Boards…Boards…anyways…it was so much fun till it lasted…as all the schools would close down, all these vella kids with nothing else to do…there was no 24 hr cartoon network or laptops or tablets with 3G-4G connection in those times…all we had was a ‘underwear clad flower’, a Bear who could fly a plane and a duck who although was a miser, but treated money like fluid water. So, with all the extra time we had as summer days were longer and we would stay indoors in the day and play games like Ludo, checkers, carrom and Vyapar or Desi ‘Monopoly’. It was so much fun…If mom was in a good mood, me and my friends would get treated to some cold orange Rasna and Milk Bikis…Vyapar was so much fun…you teamed up and then had to buy ‘Railways’ and ‘Shipping’ together to extract maximum rent…so many rules to follow…and then the lottery…most of the day was spent playing indoors…then in the evenings…tennis ball cricket…if there was power cut, in the evening…best time for hide and seek…we used to shout ‘Ice-pice’….which I learnt only recently is actually spelt as ‘I, Spy’. In the nights…a little bit of study…mainly Maths homework, coz our maths teacher Honorable shri Krishnam Namboodiri Pad sir had amazing compressive power in his underarm pinches…I am pretty sure he could bring down any WWE wrestler to his knees if they managed to get their huge tri-ceps caught between the nails of his vice like fingers. Anyways….we never did those long summer vacation Homeworks…if some teacher was really strict, like our super-pincher sir…all the homework was saved for the last week…coming back to the point of marriage season…we preferred receptions over marriage ceremonies, esp. if we were invited from the girl’s side in a wedding…then you were treated like a second class citizen and handed over a box of stale ‘mixture’ and some cold sweets…rest of the arrangement was saved for the Groom and his relatives…but receptions were nicer…and there was non-veg in the receptions…basically chicken-curry…which the attendant would serve you as if you were on an adrift life-boat and he was rationing the last remaining item…fun part was the ice-cream kiosk…there was always some chacha-mama stationed there to look out for any kid who would come in more than once for the ice-cream…there was this on-going tussle between them and the ice-cream guy, who wanted to use as many ‘bricks’ as he could…the ice-cream hawks would keep prodding the ice-cream guy to cut as thin slices as he could…I remember at one of the parties we had the ‘Bhagat Singh from Golden ice-cream’ (Patna folks will remember) and there was no restraint…I had 12 plates of vanilla slices…then had developed cough and cold in the peak of summer…then..if you figured that one of your school or colony friend was also present in that party…that was double bonanza…we would talk as if we were meeting after so many years…within the span of those few hours, that guy from your class to whom you barely talked…was now your best friend…there was one experience which I didn’t enjoy in such parties which was getting introduced to your dad’s or your grand-dad’s friend circle…they would start an impromptu spelling bee or a maths olympiad, right there won’t even ask you if you wanted to participate…now you had to prove your mettle and keep the honor of the Tiwary name, by spelling ‘Queue’ or singing out the multiplication table of 13 or 17 or the worst,19’…these days kid’s are tested on their dance moves and ability to imitate a Hrithik or ranbir…we had to imitate Shakespeare or Ramanujam…but each event was memorable…we would remember whose food was the best… in those times things were simple…one veg and one non-veg section…no gol-gappes and chaat stalls…no DJs…’Tu cheez badi hai mast -mast’ never needed a DJ to mix it up… things have changed so much now…mostly for the better…but those old times were not bad either…

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