The current summer season is terrible due to drastic climate change and global warming in the last few years. However, summers weren’t this bad during our childhood in the ‘90s. In fact, I still remember how we used to play outside, under the sun, all day long on the streets.

While it’s unthinkable to live without air conditioners and cold drinks in the house now, there was a place where we lived happily even in the scorching sun. For us ‘90s kids, summers automatically meant naani ka ghar – our second home.

I see kids travelling to foreign countries for their summer holidays now, and no shade. But for me, summer vacations meant going to a beautiful house where a single woman wanted me to eat homemade food all day – which, by the way, no world-class chef could match.

I remember how my naani used to oil my hair in the morning, after feeding me my favourite breakfast, aaloo-poori. In the evening, I used to sit in my naanu’s office and read his books, while he worked.

My naani’s house was a small district in Meerut, where there was no electricity in the house almost the entire day. It’s hard to imagine how we used to eat, play and sleep without the amenities we have now, and were still comfortable and content. 

From playing cricket on the terrace and buying different snacks for ₹10 to filling water in massive coolers, naani ka ghar also meant doing mischievous things with my cousins. We had adjoining houses with my second cousins and we used to run from one house to another all the time. 

Now that we all are busy in our lives and mostly spend our summers rolling in bed, I miss those simpler days when our biggest sorrow was to leave naani ka ghar after the holidays were over. Poora din apni god mein sulaane se leke, jaate waqt haath mein thode paise dedena, yehi tha meri naani ka pyaar. Yehi thi meri sabse pyaari summer vacation ki yaadein. 

There is still the road that goes to that house, but now that my naani isn’t in this world, summers don’t seem fun anymore. Even though that house exists, it’s not naani ka ghar anymore. 

I might not have a lot of photographs from the vacations at my naani’s house, but the memories are still so fresh in my heart that every time I think about that time, it brings a big smile to my face. I wish my future kids get a chance to spend their summer vacations at a house, filled with love and warmth – at their naani ka ghar.