Summer vacation time is supposed to be fun time for the kids – and it was in my childhood. Back then, school year ended either in December in the ISC schools or in April in most other schools. In either case there was no concept of holiday homework – it was just 8 weeks of freedom. Holiday travel was a rarity and for most, when we were still fresh urban migrants, it was the time to go to ‘hometown’ – meaning the village or town where the grandparents still lived in the family house!!
Times have indeed changed – single family units, working parents, urban lifestyle and a more pressure filled school experience all have contributed to this. Summer holidays though – in spite of the holiday homework that the schools seem to load on the kids- are still the high point of the year for most children. If not anything else, it is a break from the early to bed- early rise-dash to the bus routine. But this has been a busy summer vacation for Udai and Aadyaa. Udai went on his own for a summer camp of a week – a first for him. And then with Aadyaa and parents spent a fortnight in Europe. (Can read of their exploits on Mukta’s blog).
Mukta had also planned some sketching/clambering-around ruins picnic outings with friends for the kids during the break. Of course, in this weather it had to be in the early morning time. For a variety of reasons, these happened only at the fag end of the holidays. Following an expedition to the Qutab complex, the next venue was Humayun’s tomb. And, through a series of unrelated events, I joined the group – unplanned! And it turned out to be a really great outing.
First getting there – a big part of the group was in Mishu’s car and they were leading the way. Being an old South Delhite, the merry go round route that was being taken drove me crazy – and all because, as I learnt later, Google Aunty was leading us!!! And, once we got there, past 8am, the kids were ready to be off exploring the tombs. Although, I have been to this site a few times in recent years, the ongoing restoration work has made each visit a great experience.
The children wanted to climb every parapet and walk along the walls and Udai was bent on recovering value for every paisa of the Rs 10/ entrance fee. There was no peripheral structure – including a tomb to the barber – that he left out. Although it did start getting warm, the ambience, paucity of tourists, the greenery, chatter of birds all add to a great morning – specially for a Gurgaonwasi! And the finale was a picnic breakfast in the car park, since food is strictly prohibited inside (and that is a good thing!!),
There is so much to see in Delhi – and exposure at a young age leaves lasting memories to treasure. It was a wonderful outing, not only because it was an unexpected one, but also the company of the enthusiastic kids gang.