Updated: Jul 16, 2021
By Pavithra Rajagopalan
Last year I moved from Bangalore to Philadelphia. It is the first time I have lived away from my family, friends and from India. Like most Indians living abroad, I often take nostalgic trips down memory lane. Summer inexplicably leads me to pickles and childhood.
There’s nothing better than waking up on the first day of the school holidays. Opening your eyes to the realization that summer and all things fun have officially begun. You picture days after days, stretching seamlessly from one to the next, filled with endless possibilities of games, hobbies and shaitani with your cousins and friends.
As you quickly rush about getting ready for a day dedicated to play, you hear voices in the kitchen - looks like the parents are discussing the upcoming vacation! You jump up now, with the definite intention of running over to mom and dad and announcing with gusto “I’m going out to play and I won’t be back until evening!”.
Knowing that they can’t stop you is fantastic. Holidays can be empowering in more ways than one. Ah, joy!
You are rushing out to play and the amazing smell of fresh mango pickle wafts over you. For a minute, all is forgotten. “Maybe I should have a good filling breakfast first, I need energy for all the running around anyway”, you say to yourself.
Satisfied with this decision you sit up on the dining table, legs dangling, humming the popular opening tunes of “Ducktales". Maybe, you can even squeeze in an extra hour of cartoons? Let’s see what papa says!
Mummy has heard you, and she walks out from the kitchen, holding a plate with piping hot pooris and a large piece of that yummy fresh mango pickle! You have seen her patiently making it all of last month.
You remember walking past the big ceramic jars so many times, waiting impatiently, “Is it ready now, ma?” “How about today?” “When can we have some aam ka achar?” Chuckling at your impatience Ma replies, “soon beta, wait till your summer holidays.”
The holidays are finally here. So is the promised feast. The first bite of poori with that tangy, aromatic slice of mango-eey goodness is divine. The holidays have truly begun. Nothing can beat the joy of those long lazy summer days.
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