I often felt how time seemed to slow down when I visited my grandparents’ house. The pace of life seemed so much more relaxed in the smaller towns. Of course it helps when we are the out of town visitors once in a year, pampered to a fault. We would often visit the “native” town during the summer holidays. My grandparents lived on the seaside so the weather would invariably be hot and humid during the months of April and May. The freedom of the mind as kids would tell on us as we would be completely impervious to the heat, power cuts and even a supposed shortage of water supply! Those were the days of endless cricket matches – played with a rubber ball and a make-do bat. The wooden planks lying around the yard, the dried coconut tree leaf would serve as cricket bats good enough for us to re-live the latest exploits of Mohammad Azharuddin and Venkatapathy Raju. Throw in a good ol’ six from Navjot Singh Sidhu for good measure and we would be in Nirvana!
Summers would also be the time for catching up on an insane number of Hindi movies. Video cassettes were the in-thing with video libraries springing up in every nook and corner of the towns and cities. With the rental at as little as Rs. 5/- per day, it would be our time to watch as many as 3 in a single day! Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Kimi Katkar, Sonam filled our many afternoons with fascination, horror (at the poor quality) and amusement. Power cuts would mean a break, a fervent wait while we spent our time playing indoor games or if we were lucky, a good book to keep us company while we waited. Evening times would see a pleasant breeze blowing in from the sea, cooling the heated bodies and minds. It was also the time when it was safe to head out without being shouted at for venturing out in the sun! Time would move every so s..l..o..w..l..y. Only until it was time to head back home and school, of course. Summer would have come and gone. We wouldn’t know it!?!
Age and experience now shows the same lethargy creeping in when visiting the parents’ house or an older Aunt’s house. All of a sudden, there is no task to be done! No breakfast to prepare, no errands to run, no to-dos that can be postponed guiltily. It is guilt-free time killing heaven! The only inference I can draw from this is that when we have no work to do, no responsibilities, time seems to slow down ever so much. When the mind and body are both gainfully occupied, managing time becomes a topic in itself. Maybe that’d be another topic for a blog post in the future.