Summer holidays are a couple of months away but summer itself has made an early visit this year. Along with the soaring temperatures, there are a few more shifts that come with the season. Though how one spends their summer vacation has evolved through generations, there are certain rituals that have turned into traditions and always stay the same.

Like those frowns on the faces of students that are going to ease up as exams finally come to an end. The time when parents let out a sign of relief, because let’s be honest, board exam pressure is pretty contagious (and this hasn’t changed). And yes, even the frustration of all those adults who have long gone past the ‘summer holidays’ remain the same. See, summer has something for everybody and this summer let’s go all old school, to enjoy the true spirit of the vacation.

Summer means a lot of things to a lot of people, and for the older generation, it brings back a ton of childhood memories. For some, it’s time for vacation while for others summer routines are absolutely refreshing.

The only section of people that gets to blow the steam off in summer, apart from students, is the teachers. Ever wondered what summer time is to them? “This is the time we finally get to catch up with the stuff we have put aside during the academic year. Other than spending some quality time with family, I reserve at least two to three hours for reading. It’s also time to gear up for the upcoming academic year, though it is the same subject and the same topics, it’s always better to try and present them in a new, engaging manner. Because, it is important for teachers to evolve along with students and this has been my summer ritual for forever now,” shares Parvathi, a high school teacher.

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Now, who can forget joy of visiting grandparents and going on a pamper-spree, enjoying all the yummy homemade food, lovingly cooked by your grandmother, and the unlimited supply of mangoes or snacks! That’s what takes the spirit of summer holidays, a notch higher. Their unconditional and pure love is what we all look forward to, but what do they look forward to?

“Given harsh temperatures during summer in Bapatla, I come to Hyderabad every year to visit my children and grandchildren. And I look forward to this visit throughout the year. All my health issues miraculously mellow down when I see my grandchildren. I savour every moment spent with them, and it is not an exaggeration when I say I start preparing two-three months prior to this vacation. From cooking their favourite snacks to packing gifts to each and every member of our close-knit, large family is my period of joy,” says Marisetty Jhansi, a proud 82-year-old grandmother, who has never missed visiting her family for the last 23 years.

And you can breeze through the summer effortlessly by making simple and small tweaks. All you have to do is just stick to basics. Happy holidays!

Splish and splash
What’s summer without indulging in some water games? From Ocean Park to Wonder La, there are too many exciting options to engage in some splashing moments. If you think it’s too mainstream, you can always stick to the classic summer ritual of signing up for swimming classes in a local pool near you. No amount of water rides could match up to this satisfaction of learning strokes like a pro.

While you satisfy your water needs, make sure you care about the flora and fauna around you. Assign your kids the task of watering the plants and putting a bowl of water right outside the house gate (balcony, if it’s an apartment). While they are there, do not stop them if they get started with water war with their siblings. Well, anything is better than burying their faces in an iPad, isn’t it?

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Cool cottons
As much as everybody looks forward to this time of the year, one cannot just pull off the jet black leather jacket and go on a bike ride in the middle of the day. This summer, stick to basics, push those synthetics to the back of your closet and find that bliss in cotton fabrics.

And no, you don’t have to spend a bomb on summer shopping if you decide to go old school. Pay a visit to Shilparamam one of these days, bring out the bargaining pro in you, and get yourself a good set of cotton apparels which would make you look on point for every summer outing. And, of course, grab some of those Lucknowi cotton kurthis, because Lucknowi cotton never goes out of fashion.

Get shade-y
It’s time to get shade-y, not in a creepy stalker kind of way, but, it’s about protecting yourself from the harsh UV rays. Keep your accessories simple and pragmatic. Shades are extremely important, get yourself a good pair of goggles and always carry an umbrella with you. As those long, vintage and big-size umbrellas are back in fashion, you don’t need to shy away from using your grand parents’ hand-me-downs.

And that cotton duppatta which doesn’t go with anything in the wardrobe, bring that out; it could serve as a perfect scarf for the season. And switch your leather/ steel strap watches to canvas or Nato; canvas is lightweight and breathable, and this is exactly what you need. Also, switch your regular bags to totes; they are spacious so that you can stack in all the essentials for the season. That’s how you become summer-ready!

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Bon appetite
Now, this is the favourite part of the season – food! As we go deep into summer, we get to enjoy the goodness of tangy mangoes to the sweet, succulent ones. The joy of enjoying a ripe mango after lunch, sitting in front of the cooler/AC, right in the middle of the day, is just something else. And this summer, ditch the carbonated drinks and go for the oh-so-soothing sugarcane juice, the flavourful jal-jeera, nimbu or pudina paani, and the good ol’ replenishing tender coconut water.

And if you are keen on going authentically old school, store curd rice by adding a slice of onion in an earthen pot; do this in the night and have this rice for breakfast. This keeps your body cool through the day and it works wonders, it’s an ancestral promise. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s better to keep off spicy food during the hot season.

Zoo keepers
As we prepare ourselves for the coming hot days, Nehru Zoological Park has also started taking the necessary steps to keep things cool for their inmates. From fitting sprinklers to installing fans and air coolers, zoo keepers have got it all covered.

The staff has also made arrangements to alter diet for animals this summer by including Glucon-D, electron powder, vitamin-C supplements, etc. Green nets over the bird enclosures, windows and night houses are also being installed as per the requirements. Well, looks like the city is all set for the season, despite the high-temperature scare. #KhabarLive