Summer of ‘07

(Alright, so I have Bryan Adams and his ‘Summer of 69′ in my head as I type the title of the post. Let it stay that way.)

Since the time I went off to the US, I planned all my trips to India during Decembers or Julys, just to skip being here in the summers, not a huge fan of the heat or the humidity. Also, since we had to make a few trips to other places within India during our short India trips, I was keen to avoid the Indian summers. In fact, when we decided to R2I for good, the Indian summer was a concern for me! I hate humidity that much. Anyway, now that we have been through a summer here in Bangalore, I am glad to say that it wasn’t too bad. Bangalore was hot and we did complain about the temperatures during the peak; in fact for about a month or so, it was pretty hot. But we were lucky to get some rains and the temps cooled off tremendously, especially since the rest of the country was struggling through heat waves. We were blessed to have some tolerable temps, sometimes making it quite pleasant too. We realised this more so when we traveled to other much hotter places.

Some near-perfect days

 

Flora: Only when I was actually here, did I realise the familiar summer floral sights that I was missing being away. Not that I missed them particularly when I was actually away, because California has beautiful flora too. Spring would be awash with various hues and some lovely colors. This summer, here in Bangalore, the Gulmohar, Queen’s Flower, Copper Pod, etc were everywhere. The splash of colors was beautiful and the Gulmohar seemed redder than in the past; almost like organic coral sprinkled against the clear blue summer skies.

The resplendent Gulmohar lining the streets, making for some very pretty sights

 

 

 

 

Fruits: The summer fruits in India are a delight - mango, jackfruit, guava, musk melon, papaya, pineapple, chickoo, palmyra (kAti nongu) etc. Though mango is the king of fruits, and summer is the peak season for all its varieties, I have this weakness for jackfruits. And I hadn’t eaten any in all the years that I was out of India. So, I made up for the loss this summer! The nice thing was both my kids took to jackfruits as well. So, I had some nice, crazy company to enjoy this (strange) fruit. Jackfruits always remind me of all my summer vacation spent in my ancestral native, Kerala! Just the thought of Kerala conjures up a splash of beautiful images that mean nothing but home - my beautiful exotic home! Though I am a Bangalorean at heart, Kerala will always be home for my soul. The absolute rustic scenes, the down-to-earth temples surrounded by mystique, and of course the food! Thankfully, the jackfruits were aplenty this season in Bangalore and I had a ball, to say the least!

Yummy Yum Yum!!

We enjoyed some kAti nongu too. Some of the vendors take the fruits out right in front of you like the vendor in this picture.

 

Summer Camp: Our (then) almost 4 year old daughter went to a summer camp for 3 weeks and within walking distance! I wanted something close by and there was one at the nearest Ramana Maharshi Center. What is unbelievable is the kind of positive influence just the 3 weeks there had on her. She used to take at least about 3 hours to relax and start interacting with non-family members. After the 3 weeks at their summer camp, she was quite comfortable talking to everybody and in a ‘nice‘ way. I am thrilled with this development. At the end of the summer camp, all the children put up a nice show for the parents and family members at their auditorium. Splendid! Our daughter learnt a few of their shlokas, some small dance sequences, and some good social skills. I am thrilled! The summer camp was for 3 hours, 6 days a week for 3 weeks. I paid a whopping amount of Rs. 100/-!!! Unbelievable! (A lot of the commercial places and private schools hold summer camps for 2 weeks or so and charge more than Rs. 2000/-) Overall, she had a lot of fun and loved her summer camp!

Not being sure of how the summer would go, at the end of it, I am happy to say that it went off very well. Isn’t that nice …. when you are not sure of how something is going to turn out and later realise that things actually went off well? Applies to all things in life, doesn’t it? :)