My neighbour's son came home skipping like never before.
"From today,Loooooong holiday. "with an emphasis on the L.
"Where are you going Vish? "I asked
" Singapore. That was the deal I struck with Appa, and we better be going there this time."
Vish's mom came out. "He has been pestering us ever since the hoarding went up on LB bridge on Singapore. Ivar rum sonnar, polame nnu . We are yet to freeze plans. I believe tickets are a problem. Now that Singapore is just 5 hrs away, everybody seems to be hitting there."
"Happy hols Vish", I said and went to board the Auto to work.
Vish went to the same school I went 10 years back.It was just round the corner. As the Auto veered , my thoughts went back.
April 2nd,1989.I had just finished my IVth std, Social Science paper.SSc was always the last paper.The clock struck 1:00 and there was a controlled sound of relief in the classroom.
I walked out, calculating the number of days between April 2nd .. no no April 3rd and June 1st. I always lost count at the end of 27 days.Was April a 30 or a 31 day month?
My brother ,who also studied in the same school came out and called me to the cycle stand.And before anyone could catch him talking to his little demon sister,hurriedly enquired
Big Brother:"How was the paper? Here take all this and run home, and tell amma I will come in the evening"
Lil sister:" Where are you going ?"
BB:"Never ask such questions when I am leaving, anyways going for a movie."
LS:"Why should I carry all this ......"
BB was gone .
I boarded the bus to get down 2 stops later near my house. Amma was ready with the door open. How was the exam? Did Ques no 5 from Lesson 3 come? Did you write the line you always missed ?
Phew Amma, was always full of questions. Results were in May, Why bother now ?
"All written, School re opens on June 2nd". I declared like I had just commissioned a rocket.
Amma : Ok , clean your table ,books, pencils in the evening.
Amma : Today
Me : Amma...........
I sat near the table cleaning , while my BB watched a movie in Little Anand.
Amma came with a set of 6 frocks. They were always white or in summer shades.
I got this for summer.Patu mami is coming tomorrow evening.So practise all your geethams today.I will also sing along.We will then go to the beach with arti and shuba.
Arti and shuba were my neighbours.Nah more of soul mates.We were what we called ourselves " Awesome Threesome".
Our schedule for the summer was already written. We planned to meet on the terrace everyday for high tea ( like the Secret Seven).We didnt have Scamper , but we had teddy( It went well , was Arti's take- Threesome with Teddy, matched to the tee)
Amma, made small idlies and cutlets which were passed off as Marmalade and Sandwiches. Lemonade was always there and then there were mangoes- Banganapalli of Chennai fame.
Trips to terrace were exciting, Beach was big time. Sri Ramana Lending library was to be visited on Wed afternoons. Patu mami came on Tues and Fri evening. But the best was , the one week trip to pati' s place.
She lived in Tambaram ,now I know it is 1 hour from Besant Nagar and well within Chennai. Then I thought it was a trip worth a big briefcase.Appa drove us down for the drop in his blue Premier Padmini.I always drove alongside on the left hand side front seat.
I assumed for long that thatha was the Panchayat President, coz we always used to get that special treatment at the temple. Mid day, thayir sadam served with a story, Pandal on the terrace for us to play with small vessels of palm frond and ofcourse Sri Ramana 's novels dutifully translated and recited to pati.
I closed my eyes as the auto sped.I started crooning "Summer of 69... nope 89".