When I was young my favourite part of the summer is the days & weeks I and my sister spent in my grandmother’s house in Mattancherry. Most of my cousins would also be there along with some uncles and aunts and ofcourse my maternal grandmother. My cousins would come from Trivandrum, Calicut, Trichy & Coimbatore (where we lived) and we’d all spend our summer vacations playing and hanging out with each other. We’d play cricket & football throughout the day and as the sun sets, we’d drag our tired & sweaty bodies in and take turns in the bathroom for showers. Cleaned up and wearing fresh clothes we’d go to buy our favourite soft drink of that time – ice cream sodas.
Now don’t get any fancy ideas – the ice cream sodas that we got were basically vanilla ice cream flavoured colas that, at least to us, were only sold in one area of Mattancherry, which is Palace Road. So we’d all go and drink a soda or two or better yet, we’d fill them up in big flasks and bring them back home to drink at our leisure. That also meant we could wash down our snacks with it. Or chill it to our taste in the fridge and sip it slowly while watching movies that we’d rent from a local video store. Ah, those were the times! I remember us kids discussing what movies to rent for that evening and ensuring that there were no sex scenes so that the girl cousins didn’t have to run away at certain parts of the movie.
Many evenings we’d go to this record store and check out their collection. This store would record your mixed tapes for you, so you could select songs of various artists and then give them the list and in a week or so they would have them for you. Evenings also meant indoor games, board games, dumb charades, quiz games, Monopoly or Hind Trade (the Indian version), hide and seek in the dark (the house has many big rooms on the top floor and a lot of open space). Certain days we’d also fly kites. Ages 12 to 18 this was pretty much the life that I lived and would yearn for every year. Just get to that summer vacation stage. Or even during the Onam or Christmas break, which were 10-14 days but even a day with the cousins was a godsend. Sometimes I miss those days like crazy and wish I could relive them once again.