June is here
Summer is near
Weddings, barbecues & ice-cold beer
Fun in the sun, year is half done
What are you waiting for my dear?
My Favorite month?
Why, it’s June of course! I’m happy for all the water I chugged down to make the glass half empty and I’m also happy that it is half full. A realist? Does it really matter? It’s June.
It also happened to be my favorite month growing up in India. You might say it has something to do with the fact that I was born in June. Well, maybe a little but it’s more than that.
June was part of the summer holidays that extended from March/April up until July/August. No school! I’m not sure if things have changed now but back then spending time with grandparents, visiting family in lush villages and towns pretty much constituted our summer camp. Days were long and we were mostly left to our own wits to occupy ourselves. We spent those hot months sipping chilled colas, reading Enid Blytons, or Amar Chitra Kathas, watching movies in air conditioned theaters and generally engaging in the now-forgotten and forbidden art of loitering and being up to no good. Some Junes we spent mastering the board game, not chess but Chinese checkers, silly card games and the ever-engaging carom board! But mostly we were outdoors. If we weren’t climbing trees we were playing ‘Gilli-danda’, ‘7-stones’ or the more mainstream badminton, tennis or swimming. It was also the end of mango season so we would consume copious amounts of every breed of mango we could get our hands on. And the rain, which typically started in May, would continue to shower on in bursts through June. Somewhere toward the end of June we would start conditioning ourselves for the new school year. That time reminds me of the smell of new textbooks and notebooks which we covered in brown paper with labels stating our names and school information.
In the U.S…
Right on the heels of Memorial Day, which marks the beginning of summer vacationing and rolling straight into the Independence Day, June definitely makes for a month of the splendidly bright sun, barbecue parties, summer clothes, swimming, beaches, cheery nail colors and blockbuster movies. If you’re a parent it is also the time you should’ve planned for in advance to engage your kids since they are out of school. Whether it is in summer art/dance/music classes, camps or longer dinners we try to make this time memorable by getting outside more and doing something fun and different. My new year’s resolutions usually come into fruition sometime now. I’m not saying I achieve the goals. I have most likely only finally cultivated a habit or started on them. We take long walks and know that not far down the road after some brutal heat and possible respite from activities or maybe even a vacation in August comes September and fall festivities, all the way to the beginning of the next year. Doesn’t it bring a smile to your face? It’s also a bit daunting since it’s most certainly one of the most overwhelming activity-packed times of the year. So folks, kick off your slippers, lie down on that hammock and take in the loveliness of June!
I wonder how different my experiences would be had I continued living in India or grew up completely in the U.S. How about you? What is your favorite month? What memories come flooding to you when you think of a time of year during your childhood? How is it different now? We’d love to hear from you!