Summer mornings

I am a warm weather bear. I love the hot humid summer days. And that is the best thing about living in Houston, you get to enjoy the hot humid days… it takes me back to the days in India when summers meant time off school, time to be free and time to catch up with friends and the latest best-sellers! There are such wonderful memories associated with summer.. enjoying sweet, red watermelon and having a seed spitting competition while sitting in the backyard, the mud-pies baked under the hot sun as kids, the imaginary trips to lands unknown on the enormous outdoor swing with numerous cousins and relatives, the peaceful afternoon siesta, the cool cucumbers, the vacations and the thrill of visiting new places, the visits to the library to pile up with books, summer camps, computer lessons, watching TV… the pleasures of childhood and summer are never- ending.
Probably the best part of summer is the mornings, the air is cool and the world is silent, waking up to the sounds of nature… waking up, the first thing I used to do was sit in the front yard or the balcony and take a look at the outside world.. at 6am most of the world is still asleep and no hustle and bustle. In the small corner I call home, there isn’t a major road close enough to disrupt the peace of the summer morning.. and there I sit smelling the intoxicating scent of pichipoo wafting in and half listening to the subrabadam playing somewhere… there over in the house at the yonder, Mrs.G cleaning the front yard and drawing an intricate pattern with rice flour.. I sit there admiring the ease that which she draws the kolam... and there’s the paper guy with his perfect aim, The Hindu and Thinamalar flutter straight to the front yard and I hear the rustle of the papers being opened…. I look at the paper lying in the front yard and am just lazy to pick up and the morning quiet and silence is quickly fading away…I hear voices discussing the merits and demerits of the studying abroad and look up to see old-timers briskly walking and getting their daily exercise. The sun starts rising and soon the morning peace will disappear… and there I hear the bell in the milkman’s bicycle… ladies cluttering around talking and gossiping about everything in the 2 minutes they get to spare.. if I pay attention I can hear all about Shailu being sick all night or Geeta’s success in USA or how exciting the mega soap opera on SunTV was…Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! and that’s the alarm.. it’s 6.30.. time to be out of bed….hmmm the smell of freshly ground filter coffee is in the air…there I hear.. Mr.P trying to start his Bajaj Super… kicking hard.. and a roar as the engine comes to life… then there is the morning silence….someone turns the radio on loud and I hear the Akashvarni news.. now I smell the exotic delicacies concocted in the kitchens…breakfasts and lunch being cooked, packed….more scooters and mopeds come alive.. the screaming children waving off moms and dads to work…amma kai kai, kai venuma!! And that’s the vegetable vendor at the door…women rush out… debating over valakai (green banana) and pudalangai (snake gourd), complaining over the raising costs of veggies, bargaining for freebies, konjam kotamali, karuveppilai poodu (give some cilantro and curry leaves).. and again silence... the sun is up and I know it is going to be another scorching hot day….and head inside the house a smile on my face.. summer mornings are just the best!
Today in Houston it warmed up after an unexpectedly cold weekend..I opened the patio doors at 6.00am hoping to enjoy the summer mornings… the air was cool with promises of a hot day ahead.. but the sounds were missing.. I heard the screeching tires and blaring sirens from the ambulances but I missed the voices I had always associated with summer mornings…But summer does put a spring in my step, as I walk to work, the world seems so much better coz it is summer…the slight humid wind on my face, the bright sun, the green leaves, the smell of flowers in the air… Summer is here! And I am one happy bear! (ah that even rhymes!!)