Before the school holidays started, I had a rough plan in my mind of how to keep Pari occupied and enjoying the 45 days long break. I was well aware that it won’t be easy and I must try to avoid getting worked up. However, how the summers turned out was nowhere close to what I had imagined.
The classical dance class in which I had been wanting to enroll Pari didn’t tutor children younger than 6 years, but given Pari’s keen interest in dancing, the dance teacher agreed upon giving a try. As expected, the very first day, Pari was overwhelmed by the instructions and also by the fact that none of the students in the class were less than 10 years of age. I tried hard to talk Pari through her apprehensions but the teacher asked us to come back next year.
The art and craft class Pari was due to enroll in didn’t happen when the mercury shot past 46 degrees centigrade. In short, I was left with no choice but to entertain my feisty child myself for the long summer vacations. Pari’s habit of waking up at the crack of dawn and not sleeping until 10 in the night didn’t help either.
For the sake of sanity and peace in our life, I cut down my work heavily, changed gears to become a kid myself and we happily spent the holidays cooking new recipes, playing carom, ludo, snakes and ladders, painting, drawing, origami, dancing, reading lots of books and of course watching cartoons on TV in between.
Finding time to blog or read any of my favorite blogs took a backseat. I limited my Internet time to keep Pari off the TV as long as I could. Though it made me restless and feeling frazzled at times but in the long run, I quite enjoyed the break from being stuck to the computer monitor for long hours.
Shopping and having fun at the fun-fairs added to the joy and crafty inspirations helping us stay afloat in the rather unbearable summers. The one thing I mastered was making huge soap water bubbles. The highlight were the many new recipes I tried and to my surprise Pari too expanded her list of food favorites (including sweets) giving me some respite from worrying about how to keep her eating well.
Summer vacations are all about mangoes and revolve around them for so many reasons beyond their sweetness and tanginess of the green mango pickle. Making fresh mango ice-cream in plenty was one of the tastiest moments this summer.
Home- made Fresh Mango Ice cream:
Difficulty Level: Easy
- Ripe Alphonso Mangoes – 3 to 4 pureed
- Full cream milk – 450 ml
- Fresh cream – 3 cups
- Condensed Milk – 1 tin
- Whip the cream lightly till soft peaks form and set aside.
- Mix the pureed mangoes with milk and condensed milk. Gently fold in the whipped cream. You can add diced mango pieces for an extra bite.
- Churn it in an ice cream maker until set ( usually takes 20 to 25 minutes). If you do not have an ice cream churner, pour the prepared mixture in air-tight container and leave it to set in freezer. Every 2 hours whip it well to avoid forming ice crystals. Ice cream sets well in 8 to 10 hours.
The books that I read were mostly children’s books. I picked up a new pattern of reading books. Reading more than two books by the same author to get a better feel of their writing style. This has been inspired by the joy of reading the book-sets I bought for Pari this year. Reading many books by the same author made me feel as if I could read beyond the written word getting closer to the author and his thought process.
I am currently reading this set of books by Ruskin Bond. I intend to review them all because each of these is so beautiful and unique in their own way just like every story written by Ruskin Bond ever is.
With the summer holidays done with, I’m back to the grind and also the blog. Finally writing my heart down feels so liberating. In my mind I draft posts every single day, but it is only when I see them written down that I feel the weight shift off my shoulders. During the holidays, there were occasions when I was so driven to write that I picked up a pen and paper and spent an hour or so writing away without stopping to read, edit or even think of turning on my computer. I know, I keep getting these bouts of writing inspiration every now and then. But lately, I have come to respect my creative genius better than I feel I ever did before.
The one thing that I almost forgot to mention is the many movies I watched. Just like the books, they too were chosen keeping Pari’s interests in mind. Some of them I’d seen before but like all things, with age and experience my perception of them too have changed dramatically. A post or two on those lines too is on the cards in the next few days.
Despite reading and re-reading many books, there were times when I ran out of the bedtime stories. One evening, a solution to this problem struck me like a bolt of lightening. I decided to tell Pari the story of a Bollywood movie changing the plot to suit her liking. Since then, I am never short of story ideas. And one of those was ‘Mr.Natwarlal‘ that aired on TV a couple of days after I narrated it to Pari. To my dismay, Pari loved watching it for she loves watching the story come alive from her imagination.
Having spent so much time with Pari I got a chance to delve deep into my life, many aspects of parenting and also found answers to the many problems that I face on a daily basis. All of those moments of contemplation and finding enlightening answers are going to find way in my writing in the coming days.
Among other things, travelling happened in form of a couple same-day-return trips to nearby places owing to the blazing heat.
How have your summers been?
What all did you do?
The song on my mind: Sab Tera ~ Baaghi