Fun-filled, traumatic, joyous, troublesome, boring, cruel, pleasing, satisfying, challenging, tempting, misleading - yes Life is full of 'em - that is why life is so very SPECIAL - and yet the thrill is in "living" life! And all the accompanying ordeals are the frills attached with the thrills.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Summer vacations

Sree, had some time back posted about summer vacations and asked me to do so too. And being the kind of prompt blogger I am, its taken not so much a while to post this ;) [Well, seriously, the blogspot site was acting up and so it delayed my posting further though I had the draft ready]. Now here's my post :

The very thought of no school, no studies, brings an unsaid joy onto any kid's mind and in my school days I was no different. The last day of final exams was like the ultimate D-day. The first thing I remember doing was to get back home and put tick marks with a red pen on all my notebooks with "Good", "Neat", "V.Good" remarks.

During my primary schooling, I was out of India along with my parents and during then, we had 3 long months of summer vacation and this time was when we made our annual trips to India and these trips meant fun, fun and only fun. We would be pampered to the core. And going back we had the loads of goodies to take.During one such trip, we made a big tour of Tamilnadu. It was more like a truck van with the tarpolein cover. My uncle made seats at the back and other than that, it was mostly mats and beds. We went till Kanyakumari starting from Madras and covering a whole lot of places inbetween.

Another place which we used to often take retreat was Chidambaram. I know summer in Chidambaram is not a good idea but the load of fun that was in store did not deter us even a bit. The excitement started the moment you got down at the kanji thotti bus stop. What else? A horse cart ride!

The house we headed to was the the ever charming - tiled roof (oattu veedu) type with a centre courtyard. Cooking was done by sitting on the floor. The toilets were outside the house. You had to draw water from well, no pumps or taps (again, an indication how exercise inter-twines with daily chores in villages). But the best of all was the huge swing in the neighbour's house and we were a big cousins' lot and the neighbours were kind enough to let us in all the time. This was the typical traditional oonjal with a wide and long teak plank hung with metal chains. We would look foward to touch the ceiling everytime and few years down the line, we realised there was another version which is the kappal raatinam. In this the chain are criss-crossed and the oonjal swings sideways as against the normal front and back motion. This was just too thrilling and ultimate. The plank would literally touch the ceiling with a jerk leading to shreiks and screams.

Another best thing here was the kuchchi icecream. The little ice factory was not far off from the house and fresh ice was made at around 3 pm and so we would all gather at 3 and our aunt would lead us all with a big ever-silver bowl. Grape ice, orange ice, semiya ice, rose milk ice, paal ice... yummy. The rose milk flavour sticks came in trainglular shapes, the orange ones the normal shape. I liked the kuchi paal ice the best, which came in a thin cylindrical shape. All the big ones used to be wrapped in short butter papers. Probably the manufucturing methodology was hygienic, thats why we had no problem even after eating them day after day. Costing just about 25 or 50 p, each would grab atleast 2 and slurping, licking all the way back home :)

Is a trip to Chidambaram complete without visiting the Natarajar temple? We would head to the temple just an running errands especially during night times. We felt the temple was our second home and not to miss the puliyodharai and sakkarai pongal served hot on lotus leaves at the Lakshmi sannidhi. The sound of the huge bells during the kala poojais cause goose pimples and transforms you to another divine eternal world.

The best of all during summer vacations would be the regular days at Madras. Being in Besant Nagar, it meant a daily evening trip to the Elliot's beach and getting drenched and coming back with loads of sands in pockets. And in the day time, all the indoor games would come out - trade, monopoly, scrabble, carrom and cards. Almost the whole street would ensemble in our house. We had to use 3 card packs to play Rummy.

I could just go on and on with summer vacation but I have listed just the instant few which flashed right away on reading Sree's posts. Thanks Sree for helping me take a ride down memory lane (yet again!).

Thinking of all those now, I can only envy the school kids. I wish if offices also follow suit and declare a month long, okay-let me not be too greedy, maybe atleast a week!

37 comments:

Sree's Views said...

Haa haa Ravi..solli kooda modhalla varalainaa appuram enakku..
'kumbi paagam' dhaan :(

Irunga..poyee neenga panna galaata pathi padichittu varen :)
Thanks Ravi for taking up the tag :)

Sree's Views said...

Vandhuttom :)
//[Well, seriously, the blogspot
site was acting up and so
it delayed my posting further
though I had the draft ready]. //
Ahaaa.. Nambittom :P

//marks with a red pen on all my
notebooks with "Good", "Neat",
"V.Good" remarks.//
what abt the teacher's signature?
adha vittutaa epdee :)

//My uncle made seats at the
back and other than that,
it was mostly mats and beds.//
Oh adhu epdeenga ?

Ravi...romba azghaga Chidambaram
experience sa solli irukeenga :)
enakku kooda Chidambaram summer
vacation spot..enga paternal thatha
anga oru post la irundhaar.. he was given a really huge house in the middle of a a jungle like compound.
so I used to go there..neenga sonna maari Madras maari illaama , anga veetlaye Kozhi ellam irukkum..enakku adhu oru pudhu experience...and ofcourse
Kovilkku adikadi povom...appuram
Ravi..anga 'Portanova' nnu oru lake
irukkum illa? adhula boating pogum
podhu 'flying fishes' thulli thulli gudhukkum and adhula anemones midhakkum...oooo..what an experience!
ayyoo indhu unga post illa :P
sorry sorry :P

Kutchi ice , punju mittai , sonpaapdi,Mc.renett cake (madrasla) illadha summer vacation oru summer vacationaa?
ooh..paal ice is sooper.. andha
ice ippo kidaikudhaannu theriyala..
naan school la vaangi saapittu irukken
now..amul vanilla has just that taste..try it :)

//we realised there was another version which is the kappal raatinam. In this the chain are criss-crossed and the oonjal swings sideways as //

I have never heard of it..ceilingla ball and
socket kelvi pattu irukken. But
side la aadara oonjal ippo dhaan
kelvi padaren..paakaama vidaradhilla :))

Enakka andha ever-silver bowlnnu
sonna vudaney..adhu fulla kutchi ice paatha maari irukku..and ofcourse I can smell the puliyodharai and sarkarai
pongal...I think i am hungry :( lol

//We had to use 3 card packs
to play Rummy.//
ahaaa rummy...aamaam ethana
extra jokers allowed ?
and pointukku ethana paisa ?
express pool aaduveengala :P

//Thanks Sree //
Anytime Ravi..actually , I shd be
thanking you for appreciating
my post :)
/okay-let me not be too greedy,
maybe atleast a week!//
Adhellam edhir paarkaadheenga..
nambala eduthukka vendiyadhudhaan :)

Good Post , Ravi..
oru post la Kanyakumari,
Besant Nagar , Chidambaram ellam
cover panniteenga :)
Romba thanks for taking it up :)

Ravi said...

Sree,
Thanks a lot for visiting almost immediately after seeing my comment.

1. Nijam dhaan. First, everything was in German. And then the "Add new post" was not showing up.

2. Oh yes... eppadi marandhen? I love putting signs on the notebooks ;) he he he

3. It was like tempo Sree. So one sofa was welded to the base of the temp (in the back space). And in the remaining space, beds and mats were spread out. So elders used to sit on the sofa while the rest used to sit on the beds and have a whale of a time.

4. Are you referring to Pichavaram? Yes, temple is ultimate.

5. The kappal oonjal is no big deal. The normal oonjal would have 4 metail chains on the 4 corners of the plank right? You should take the chain from one end and place it on the other end (same side). Similarly for the other side also. So the 2 chains on one side would be criss crossed. Then you have to push the swing from the side.

6. Yes me too miss that kuchi ice esp paal ice. And also the semiya ice ;) Yes, andha ever-silver bowl-la kondu varum bodhu full-la kuchchiya theriyum : all are ice sticks in inverted positions.

Thanks for your nice long comment Sree.

Ravi said...

Sree,
Btw, what is that express pool? 3 cards use pannum bodhu, same card thrice is considered as a rummy. Full-kku 1 rupee, middle scoot 50 ps, early scoot 25p ippadi... But kaasu elaam only when elders play. We just play with points.

balar said...

Excellent Post ..
I do like Chidiambaram Natarajar temple..When we visited last time we were walking around the temple in the night and it was breezing and enjoyed the evening..
I can't forgot Chidambaram bus stand , i felt down inside the drainage which was middle of the busstand and no light around..:(

I like playing carrom, we still play carrom in usa..

Good post ravi..

:)

Ravi said...

Hello balar,
Welcome back again. Sorry, but I could not control my laughter as I read about your (mis)adventure at CDM bus stand. And its a surprise that you play Carrom in USA. Good to know you enjoyed the post. Thanks!

Sree's Views said...

Hi Ravi..
Express pool is a set of
7 games (rummy ) , in which
the first and last are played without
joker , so the rummy shd be original,
and so also the sets. The middle
5 games are played with
concealed joker , where a player
can see the joker by showing the
original rummy he has to the person
he drops the cards to (adhaan paa
nambalukku adutha aalu ).
This way if I see the joker ,
I have a chance of picking up
the joker that u unknowingly
dropped . But most of the
times ,if one player has seen the
joker , all the other players drop
the same card .Ippo if the one who
has seen drops a King so does
the rest .
But , the one who has seen usually
drops a number that he may want for
his rummy or set .
And imp thing is the first and the
last games have double the points.
So the account is settled after
a set of this 7 games.

Epdee :))
Next week-end express poola ;-)

Ravi said...

Sree,
yes, now I remember... my friend taught me this in college. I forgot to get cards from India and every weekend romba nenachuppen - when friend congregate. I love Uno cards too. I too good to play when there is a gang.

Sree's Views said...

Ravi.....

vizhundhu vizhundhu sirikanumaa?
Play pictionary :)

(radio advt maari irukka :)) )

Sree's Views said...

Ravi….
Neenga sonna udaney enga veetu oonjala poi paathen.. orey disappointment…
rendu pakkamum rendu chainum orey hook la irukku :(

Thanks for the info though :)

வேதா said...

/put tick marks with a red pen on all my notebooks with "Good", "Neat", "V.Good" remarks./
நானும் அந்த வேலைய தான் செய்வேன்:) நம்மளே எல்லாத்துக்கும் ஃபுல் மார்க்ஸ் போட்டுக்கிட்டு எல்லா புத்தகங்களையும் கடைக்கு போட்டுடுவேன்:)

எப்படா கோடை விடுமுறை வரும்னு காத்திக்கிட்டு இருப்போம், முழுக்க முழுக்க தெருவில் தான் இருப்போம்:)

/ we realised there was another version which is the kappal raatinam./
அப்டியா நான் கூட அந்த மாதிரி பார்த்ததில்ல.

குச்சி ஐஸெல்லாம் சாப்டு எவ்ளோ வருஷமாகுது அதுவும் எனக்கு பிடிச்ச பால் ஐஸை வேற நினைவுப்படுத்திட்டீங்க எனக்கு உடனே சாப்பிடனும் போல இருக்கு:)

மொத்தத்தில் அருமையான நினைவுகள் ரவி உங்க புண்ணியத்துல நாங்களும் கொஞ்சம் ப்ளாஷ்பேக் எடுத்துக்கிட்டோம்:)

Ravi said...

Sree,
Thanks again. Btw, neenga sonna unga veetu oonjal description puriyala. Oru plank, naalu moolailiyum naalu hook for chains irukkaa?

Veda,
Danks, danks :) Yes, adhai ninaivu koorndhu ezhudhum podhu enakku andha ninaivugal vandhadhu.
Paal ice, ippo kedaikudhaanu kooda theriyala. Appadiye kedachaalum, hygenic-a irukkumanu theriyala.
Kappal oonjal, even I didn't know. Maybe nambala maadhiri Pattana vaasigalukku theriyaadhunu nenaikiren. Town/graamathula irukkara unga friends/cousins kitta kaettu paarunga.
Thanks for the nice comment Veda.

Bharath Sattanathan said...

Its beautiful isn't it - The Great Summer Vacations!

Really good post :)

Sree's Views said...

Hello Ravi..
//Oru plank, naalu moolailiyum naalu hook for chains irukkaa?//
ippo unga veetla ceilingla 4 hooks irukkum illa? enga veetla rendudhaan.

En blog la unga commentukku reply pottu irukken.
Wanted to say this..U remind me of a civil advocate I know....he presents his arguments in a sequential , neat and logical manner. Your comment was very similar to that. Its an art keep ur readers with u without losing their attention.
actualla..andha advocate lang onnum flowery yaa irukaadhu but his presentation is impressive :)
thanks Ravi :)

Ravi said...

Bharath,
welcome back after long long time. I am sure you would be missing all this even more now. Thanks for your visit and comment.

Sree,
Have posted my latest comment as well. Btw, does your oonjal have 2 hooks but with 2 chains on each hooks? Then its still possible.

Sree's Views said...

hey Ravi..
//Btw, does your oonjal have 2 hooks but with 2 chains on each hooks? Then its still possible. //
ahaaa...why did'nt I think of it :)
so I have to criss cross them on the plank ?
But the hooks used on the ceiling are 'S' hooks...will they swing side ways ?
Check pannittu sollaren :)
thanks

simple said...

U have an amazing memory and you even cherish those moments Ravi,not that I donot remember all things but when mamma discusses certain things about school days or summer vacations,I just say"hmph...ha.ha..yes.yes" and finally confess "Mamma to tell u the truth I just cant remember".....me probably needs meditation classes or sum thin...I remember very few details...I know the moment I try to remember I fall asleep.

My mom has a few of these qualities of urs.....her school days...college days..my schooling..our first new house.....LOL!!!It's ever so interesting to know.

The funniest events are when I meet a couple of mom's old friends..I say "O..I remember right right"...and come back home and ask "Who was she?"...It's pathetic...& I thought mamma was growing old.(It's probably now the other way round her baby is growing older than her)

Ravi said...

Hi Soumya,
You disappeared again and this time I could not access your blog. I get the message saying "profile not found". So can you please send me your blog link? Thanks!

Yes, generally the old timers don't forget things that easily and when it comes to events, they remember to the minutest detail. Amazing really!! Thanks for coming by Soumya.

Anonymous said...

from R.Prabhu
Great post Ravi!!!

//The first thing I remember doing was to get back home and put tick marks with a red pen on all my notebooks with "Good", "Neat", "V.Good" remarks//

I have done more of it especially putting 10/10 for test notebooks. Good to see the past like this!!!!

...r.Prabhu

Pegasus said...

those were the days... sometimes i wish i could be a kid all over again

simple said...

naan ungaleke nandri solanum neenga illa.Thank you.

I am having a tough time with the blog after the upgrade.I can enter it and update but cannot use my blog identity.

Ravi said...

Prabhu,
Hello Prabhu, eppadi irukeenga? Btw, enna annonymous-a comment pottirukeenga?? Acutally thinking about my action then (of puttin tick marks), I thought I was a bit strange but now that quite a few have related to this, I think I am not that 'strange'. Thanks Prabhu!

Pegasus,
Thanks! There is not a day which passes by without me thinking the way you do :) but sigh! that is never going to happen...

Simple,
wow! Tamil kalisidhira? Great... Get your blog working asap...

R.Prabhu said...

Am doing great, Ravi! I guess some goof up while I posted the comment. The oonjal and the Kayithu Kattil are heavens on earth. Afternoon nalla vayiru mutta saapititu Vandhu padutha, appadiyae lesa andha jillu-nu oru breeze adikka, ennama thookam varum ada ada ada!!! Adhu dhaan, sorgam :D he he he!

Sree's Views said...

hello Prabhu and Ravi..
//I guess some goof up while I posted the comment//
Prabhu, neenga en blogla Ravi kku podavendiya comment pottuteenga :)
naan dhaan anon aa unga per pottu inga paste pannen :)

Ravi said...

ha ha ha ha ha....
he hehe hehe...
(I've still not stopped laughing!!!}

Sree,
Unga comment paartha udanae enakku gubukku-nu sirippu vandhuduchu. Then I realised I was in office ;-)

But it shows our good friendship circle in the blogospher - illaya?

Thanks Sree & Prabhu for starting my day with a laugh!!

R.Prabhu said...

Ha Ha Ha!!! Good and Thanks for the info and posting the comment to the appropriate place Sree!!! Yeah indeed you are right Ravi!!! And this time I was doubly careful that I am posting it to the right site!!!

Deekshanya said...

lovely post! made me feel nostalgic..some similarities:
1) Paal Ice (kutchi) was my favourite too.
2)Oonjal - still I got that craze!

wow! nice one again

Ravi said...

Deekshanya,
Welcome again! Now that you are away from home, reading this would have made you miss home more right? Thanks for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post,ravi!Brought back wonderful memories of my summer holidays spent happily every year in bangalore! Two months spent in the company of cousins was real fun!kulfi,cotton candy, lalbagh park!olden days olden days thaan!:)
paati

Ravi said...

Thanks paati! I got transformed to those good old days seeing your "Boiled peanuts" post and now you say the same reading my post - what a coincidence!

Sree's Views said...

//Sree,
Unga comment paartha udanae enakku gubukku-nu sirippu vandhuduchu. Then I realised I was in office ;-)//

Ravi...
I am happy that u had a good laugh.. :)
Prabhu...
Chumma en blog la comment podunga :)
Naan enga ottidanumo ottidaren :))

Have a great week !

Balaji S Rajan said...

Ravi,

Good memories. As everyone said you have brought back old good memories. I bet nobody would have passed their younger days, without having consumed

1) Paal Ice
2) Oonjal.

Your narration made me to relish my old memories as Veda pointed out. True.. great old days. You do not need to envy the kids of nowadays. They are missing all these.

Ravi said...

Balaji Sir,
Thanks again! Yes, I really really miss and even more because I am outside India. But sadly these day, andha typical thaekku oonjal and paal ice paarkavae mudiyala illaiyaa?

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