Meera was on her way to Mahabaleshwar, a hill station nestled in the western ghats of Maharashtra, with her pack of maternal cousins. One of her cousins had returned from Canada for vacation, so they were keen on spending a Sunday together.
Hitting the road early in the morning, they were on their way for an adventurous ride. Catching up on what was missed, updating about each other’s daily routine and future plans, playing the millennial songs they grew up listening as kids, their journey was exciting from the very beginning.
When she was a kid, Meera’s summer break was full of people. She had a handful of cousins on both, her maternal and paternal sides. As soon as the annual exams were over, all the cousins would arrive at her place to spend their holidays. They woke up late, spent the entire day playing cards, stealing carrom coins so that the opposite team would lose, visiting amusement and water parks with Anna and eating Chinese at the local restaurant on their return journey.
After her cousins had left, Meera would go to Mama’s house to spend the rest of her vacations with her other set of cousins. They played hide and seek, Galli cricket in the living room. Rented old, Hindi classic movie CDs, played video games on the computer and binge ate mangoes. In the evenings, all of them would go down in the parking lot and play with the colony friends.
Meera’s life was less complicated then. Their only aim was to make the most of the summer vacations, because that was the only time of the year when they all gathered and stayed together.
Today, travelling with her cousins made her nostalgic.
They parked their car near one of the tourists’ attraction places, walked halfway through the trail, found shade under the trees and settled down. They removed their pack of cards and began playing ‘7hearts’, the game they frequently played during their childhood. Cheating, teasing each other, winning and losing, yelling and screaming, the woods reverberated with their voices. Sipping on the soft drinks, they picked up on the way, they played 3 games back to back, for almost two hours, shifting from one place to another. On their way back, they clicked some photographs.
From the time her Under graduation college had started and now after a full time job, Meera never had, had a proper summer break. She kept stealing such opportunities to spend time with friends and family to unwind. She realised amidst the chaotic life, happiness was in these small little things that she could treasure. There’s going to be rat-race, targets to achieve, goals to complete, but moments like these will remain etched in the memories till eternity.
In those woods, away from the messy and hectic city life, she discovered her childhood again, with her cousins being around!