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Holiday spirit wilts under heat
- Moms enforce day curfew, youngsters make do with indoor hobbies

Summer vacation makes no sense unless someone sends the heat away on vacation.

That’s the general mood of Ranchi’s schoolchildren who can’t really enjoy the biggest break in academic year this time. Daytime curfew is on for the children this summer vacation, thanks to spoilsport sun and a raging mercury.

Since mid-May, the daytime temperatures are hovering around 40 degrees. On Wednesday, it was 40.2°C. So mothers have no choice but shake their heads if youngsters want to go out and play. “Wait till sunset or 5.30pm at least,” is the standard response.

At Kanke Road’s Saraswati Apartment, Soma Roy, mother of 13-year-old Anoushka, an eighth grader of Surendranath Centenary School, admits she has a tough time keeping the teenager occupied at home.

“The city lacks swimming pools and I did not let my daughter take part in summer camps as it was too hot. We cancelled our annual holiday due to the heat. Last year, we went to Kerala. I know she is very bored, but I can’t help it,” she said.

“I can’t step out before 5.30pm. Indoors, I practise classical and semi-classical dance or play chess,” said a glum Anoushka.

Smriti Pandey, mother of eight-year-old hyper-energetic Abhyudey, has devised an innovative way to keep him busy.

“I wake him up at 5am sharp and send him off for some badminton practice till 8am or so, while it is still cool outside. The rest of the time, I tell him to stay at home. It’s the best that I can do,” she said, admitting that this year, they cancelled their holiday plans due to excessive heat.

But obviously Abhyudey, a third grader at Delhi Public School (DPS), Ranchi, feels that staying at home is a waste of summer vacation.

“During the day, my mother tells me to play computer games at home. It is quite boring,” he rued.

Making the best of a bad deal, they keep busy indoors with Word Maker, chess and computer games. But they save the best for the last — picnics on their common apartment terrace at 6.30pm.

How do you keep your kids occupied at home during their vacations?

Tell ttkhand@abpmail.com