By Vaishali Hamlai
What are your cherished childhood memories of summer? Is it sweltering in the summer heat, not concerned about waking up in the morning, or going to school, or finishing assignments, or clearing that one last examination, with the best grades, or just scarping through. What else does summer remind you of?
Pickles, grandparent’s house, summer camps, getting plain bored, honing your drawing skills, or anything that one can’t do at school time. For me the winner was always summer camps. That once eventful and hustling school now organising a summer camp for a small number of kids. That school was once filled with innumerable kids; and now filled with just a handful of kids. It feels like a wonderland, a huge lawn equal to four football fields, where now play maybe only 40 kids.
Cycling on the streets carefree, from one park to another, where we didn’t have to worry about being run over by some careless inconsiderate driver. Climbing trees, playing many outdoor games or just staying in and listening to music.
But things have changed and those summer memories are replaced. Going to a friend’s house in the summer afternoon to play board games is now replaced by playing online Snapchat impersonal games. Drawing and sketching on fresh crisp A4 sized new drawing books are replaced by another random app on your iPhone. Singing songs and fighting for that one lyric that everyone debates on, has turned into singing along YouTubed songs with perfect error-free lyrics, like a pro. Staying up late watching that one movie that was rented for the night from the video parlour to having a million choices to watch on Netflix but dissatisfied with them all. From numerous relatives visiting for over a month, having no personal space, cramping a large number of children in one room to sleep, to being alone in a nuclear family with no one to visit and all the space to yourself.
But having said that, and being abreast with change, when it comes to fun and bonding, I don’t think this generation was short changed. Their summer is full of fun and frolic too. Their summer is also about visiting grandparent’s house, watching re-runs of their favourite Netflix show, playing their best sport throughout the summer, without having to miss it. Their summer is about learning absolutely anything they want under the sun; if they wanted they also could learn martial arts and take lessons on YouTube, and mind you, they can even excel at it. They could doodle their way through summer feeling blessed and calmer than anyone else. They could sing, chat and play along with their friends who are not even in their country at that time. Their horizon is broader and choices galore. They could connect with a person miles away, connecting over that one odd hobby very few are interested in. They could learn about the whole world with a click of their fingers and connect to any information, not possible in a large library too. They no longer need to wait the whole summer to chat with that cousin who lived miles away, and finally they can connect since they all have summer break and time is on their side. They have it all!
If ever you feel that this generation doesn’t have what you had, then you have no idea what they have! They have this and that and they have it all!