Skip to main content

Summers Gone By

Summer holidays. Anticipated, savored and cherished. This magical time was the highlight of fourteen years of school. Every summer, my sister and I (along with our cousin brother), spent 2 months at the home of our grandparents. A rambling mansion surrounded by gardens on three sides, with cavernous ceilings, ornately carved furniture, doors hidden behind cupboards, creaky stairs and filled with relics of the past.

Summer holidays. So many memories. The sweet smell of ripe mangoes. The shouts of fruit sellers from the streets. The raucous noises of monkeys as they eat from the trees in the garden. Trying to eat the ice cream before it melts from the heat. Eating cold taati munjalu (fruit of sugar palm tree) on a lazy summer afternoon. Squealing with delight when my grandmother unveils one of her special sweets. 

Playing cops and robbers with water pistols. Annoying the gardener while he waters the plants, hoping he'll spray us with the hose. Bowling with plastic balls and pins in the living room. Petting the newly born calf in the buffalo pen. Eyes watering from fresh, spicy avakaya (mango) pickle, still continuing to eat. Board game shopping with grandfather. Eating dinner at lightning speed, because the power will go out in 5 minutes. 

Sitting under a full moon in the garden, illuminated only by stars and kerosene lanterns. Playing hide n seek in the dark. Laughing, talking and listening to snippets of the movie being played in the theater next door. Discovering the broken record player and 3 foot tall radio, tucked away in the upstairs library. The smell of old books, still scattered the same way from last summer. The smell of wet dirt after the first rains of the season. Making paper boats to see whose sinks last. Checking shoes for frogs and worms before putting them on. Trying not to step on millipedes in the garden. 

Competing to see who can take the quickest shower. Fighting for the lone seat at the head of the table. Playing the stereo full blast in a bedroom on the first floor so no one can hear us. Getting caught sneaking cola bottles from the fridge before lunch. Eating street food and getting scolded for not eating dinner properly at home. Movie marathons till well past midnight. Listening to the whistle of the trains during the night. None of us gave any thought to the future, beyond planning what to do next.

Until the dreaded last day of vacation. Frantic packing and last minute conversations. Looking forward to eating all the pickles grandma has packed and yet sad to leave everyone behind. Waving goodbye till the train pulls out of the station and nothing more can be seen in the dark of night.

All things, however good or bad, come to an end. The three of us grew up, moved away and stepped into the adult world of careers, relationships and responsibilities. No more magical summer reunions. But no matter what my age is or where I am, I'll always have memories of the best childhood summers to cherish.


Popular posts from this blog

The Theory Of Color

My favorite thing about coloring is that it takes away much of the stress of drawing. I've seen disparaging remarks by people against colorists, mostly in the vein of 'just learn to draw already!' But I think that they are kind of missing the point. I know I can get better at drawing if I practice everyday. But being a full-time student with a couple of part-time jobs doesn't leave me much time for creative pursuits. Why shouldn't I enjoy playing with color just because I can't draw well?

Once I jumped into the world of coloring, I faced the biggest question for a newbie colorist - how do I pick colors for something? I loved looking at the finished pictures posted online by advanced colorists and even actual artists. I wanted to be able to create something like that! I started learning some basics about colors and how they work to get better at coloring my books.

So if you have ever wondered about color combinations or why some colors tend to look better toget…

Tutorials And Coloring Videos On YouTube

When I first started coloring, I didn't know much about techniques or special equipment that I would need. So how did I go from an absolute beginner to being able to produce finished pictures such as the one on the left? Almost everything that I have learned is from reading blogs and following colorists on YouTube. There are many talented artists who put up different types of videos and there is a lot to be learned out there. A few of my favorite artists are:

1. Peta Hewitt

To be quite honest, if I had to recommend only a single name for beginners to follow it would be Peta. She has some wonderful videos where she explains different parts of the coloring process including types of supplies to buy, how she goes about selecting color combinations and even detailed tutorials where she shows how to color an entire page from start to finish. She frequently reviews various coloring books as well. She also has some speed coloring videos – where there is no explanation, just her coloring …

Organizing Your Coloring Supplies

Coloring is easy enough to get started with - all you need is a book you like and some pencils or pens you have lying around. But as with any hobby, there are always more and better supplies just round the corner! It started out innocently enough for me, I spotted a book in the store and bought it entirely on impulse.

Pretty soon I was caught up in all the beautiful books out there for colorists, not to mention good quality supplies. It's been a little more then 6 months since I started coloring and already I've amassed an impressive collection of books and coloring supplies. So how do you store your pencils/pens when you have so many? Well turns out there are many options before you. Here are a few ways you can store your supplies:

The Original Tin
If you're buying quality pencils or pens, they usually come well packaged in tin or wooden boxes. The wood cases are stunning to look at but often take up a lot of room, not to mention they can be twice the price of the tin cas…