Summer vacation meant our vist to madras. It would usually be on the same day i finish my final exam, the last being kannada always. My dad would see me off at the station at Bangalore. My grand father/mama was there to receive me.It would last for two whole months at kutcheri road mylapore.
Unlike today, we had no summer camps then, but patti's house itself was like a summer camp with all my cousins from Pettaivai thalai and Dehradun.
Breakfast was usually pazheya saadam and vadu mangai. All of us were given just one vadu mangai and perimma used to keep the saadam in our palms(kaila poduradhu).After the noon meals we cousins used to swing on the oonjal in the hall,listen to stories from periya patti, learn to sew from mami,help thatha to do small works like filing etc. Evenings we would walk to santhome beach which was close by. Friday evenings were reserved for Kapali koil. Patti used to give for archanai and one of the cousins had to go with mami to the temple. But none of us would be interested. You know why?. because it was oliyum oliyum(tamil film songs) time. And none of us wanted to miss this. So at around 7.30 p.m all of us would go running away from the hall and hide in toilet or mottai madi(terrace). And another thing we dreaded was clearing the table. Again even before mami /patti calls we would runaway to our hideouts. Oh! we had loads of fun. we needed no summer camps. We learnt many values/culure/traditions/bonding with elders all free of cost.
I still recall my thatha telling the thirukural. 'Thondril pughzhodu thondraga agdilar thondril thondramai nandru'.
Today's children are so stressed out. Vacation for them means going to malls/summercamps/vacationing at resorts. No doubt moral values are on the decline. And even as i am writing some commercial mind must be thinking of summer/ winter camps for moral values.