I have currently the luxury of idling in summer unlike most of you. Irrespective of you idling or not; the dreaded question is ‘What is the plan for summer’?

Well, if you have kids, the camouflaged question is ‘How are you going to keep them busy’?

It is a question that I ask myself.

I just rewind in time, and I become envious of my parents, who never worried about keeping me busy in summer.

The only challenge they had was, how to get me back in home in time. Most of the times, it was my Grandmother, who had the arduous task of feeding my friends and me with something or the other.  It was similar in other houses as well. They have to feed the gang that comes in. The only rule was to get back to home before 9 PM.

Every one of us nurtured the dreams of being a KapilDev or Sunil Gavaskar and gamed the harsh sun out of our way. I do not think any of us made it into cricket, though we would still start bowling or batting impromptu if we feel like doing it and we do not mind the place where we do it. Sometimes I do it in the middle of the road and suddenly become aware of everyone around me and restrain my cover drive or reverse swing.

The games we played were just too many and just too much fun. So many impromptu games and creativity deployed to keep us away from home till 9 PM! We would be so tired by the time we reach home and crash. No ‘AC.’ It is just the ‘Usha Ceiling or Table’ fans humming tirelessly.

That brings me to the case of my children.

I do not think they have a clue.

I do not think I have a clue.

Every morning the question is ‘What should I do today’?

Since I am out of interesting ideas, they just laze themselves into gadgets or couch potatoes.

It would be easy for me to blame them or wonder about their lack of eagerness in outdoor play or any activity where they lose a sense of time. (Video games are an exception)

I think the answer is ‘Mea Culpa.’

I think I know the reason also.

The operative model for my parents was unconditional trust or gross indifference. I have reason to believe it is the former.

They trusted us to deal with things that come our way and expected me to bring to their notice, things that were above our comprehension. It is also possible that they were too focused on ensuring the next day’s daily meal was on the plate, that they did not have the luxury of ‘Planning for Summer.’ Summer, Winter, Spring or Autumn. Their number one mission was to get the next meal on the plate without fail, and they did that with a six sigma precision.

I lack an operative model, and I have realized it is because there is too much of ‘What if’ scenarios that play out in my mind, that I play a spoilsport to the absolute fun that they should be having.

It is not that I do not trust them, but my trust is like

I trust you, but …

and the but’s are ad-infinitum, and my children get confused.

So they put the ball back in my court and ask

What should I do?

When I can say, ‘Figure out’ to that question, that would be the day I think I would have allowed them to grow.

I think, now I beginning to understand the motivation behind ‘Summer Camps’ and the tour packages cleverly labeled as ‘Summer Escapes’

However, the broader questions are

Is Trust Absolute or Relative?

Is Trust subject to conditions?

So, if I may ask, what then are your summer plans?

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)