Friday, July 13, 2007

The good ol’ summer days…

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No tension of waking up early in the morning. No school. No homework. No tests. No tuition. In short, no worries at all. Lots and lots of free time. Playing around. Watching movies. Picnics with family and friends. Going on leisure trips. Reading books. In short, having fun round the clock.

Summer vacations! All fun and no worries – yes folks, that’s what summer vacations are all about. It’s indeed the time of the year most of Us yearn for. The school and college going lot, especially, embrace summer vacations with open arms, as after remaining busy with their studies for the whole year, it is, after all, their time to enjoy!

For the grownups amongst Us, summer vacations bring in a lot of memories – some good, some bad – which we cherish nonetheless. So this week we asked some of your favourite celebs how they spent their summer vacations during their childhood, the places they visited, any incident they particularly remember and the difference between summer then and now. Read on and find out how the celebs spent the good old summer days…

Ali Zafar
We used to go off to some hill resort for a week or so with the university trip that went every year, which my father used to lead with others as a teacher. Was great fun! When the vacations were about to start, we would count seconds as to when they would… but in the middle we would start wishing to meet our schoolmates again with a new spirit. As for the difference… yes, in childhood we could not afford air conditioners so had to bear all the heat; could not afford a car so I used to ride back home in the heat from school – now I can! :)

Atif Aslam
The daytime was spent doing summer vacations homework mostly, but the nights were fun – watching cartoons and playing video games. Our family used to visit the northern areas of Pakistan during our vacations. A good memory is that in the summer vacations, we were strictly advised to remain in the house due to the scorching heat outside and our parents used to lock the main door. But when everyone went to sleep, my brother and I used to jump the boundary wall of our house and play cricket in the ground nearby. The best part was that we use to come back home and be in our beds before our parents woke up!

Farhan Saeed Butt
We used to go somewhere with the family, mostly northern areas or sometimes abroad. I was supposed to go only after I was done with my homework (hunh!) which I never did in my vacations! ;) About the places that we visited, as I’ve mentioned, it was mostly northern areas like Murree, Bhurban, and I went for Umra twice (when I didn’t know the worth of what I was doing; I hope I go again soon) and England, Dubai etc. The most memorable thing was that first of all my whole family used to be together as my brothers are now abroad working so it’s been a long time since we’ve gone on vacations together. And secondly, the vacations used to be full of incidents – innocent sneak-outs from the rooms just to go and play; one thing I used to do since childhood is that I used to admire natural beauty a lot; I remember just sitting and watching the moon even when I was a kid, so there was something since childhood. :)
The difference? Ask what is not different from childhood! It’s all different now: work, tensions, nothing is that way now. Actually, answering this question made me realize that it’s really different now – no more innocent sneak-outs (there are sneak-outs but not innocent anymore! :p).

Goher Mumtaz
In my childhood, I was in Faisalabad, so we use to wait like hell for that moment to go to Lahore, cuz in the summers, all the cousins used to gather at nano’s place back in Lahore. That was the best place ever to pass summers cuz all the families used to gather over there. The most memorable thing was hanging out with cousins on dad’s or mamu’s cars in the hot noons when they were all sleeping and we didn't know how to drive the car. :)
And how are summers different now? In childhood, we didn’t feel the heat of the summers and it was easy to spend that time with cousins by doing a lot of fun things, even if the load shedding ever happened, but now its unbearable! ;)

Maaz Maudood
I always wanted to travel. For me, the picture of a perfect vacation was to go places…but sadly that wasn't the case…never actually got a chance to live that dream when I was a kid. Used to go over to my nani's place every Friday…that used to be SO much fun! She lived far far away and I just loved the long drive. The best part about my house was living in a joint family, which meant having loads of cousins running around. So when the summer vacations came, ALL the schools got off and there was total chaos at my place, but that was just amazing because even though I never got to travel, I used to have a ball every single day doing absolutely random things. I remember we used to play so many games – baraf paani, khokho, sticky toffee, Simon says – and even actual sports: hockey, badminton, table tennis…oh and card games! Can't forget card games, especially UNO!! Needless to say I had a great childhood, even though being the youngest was a pain most of the time, but hey, that's life. Now it's different because the same house that used to have 20 kids running around is empty. Everyone has their own lives. Most of them left the country, half of them got married. Times change and we really can't do much about that, but as the song goes, “memories give me the strength I need to proceed / the strength I need to believe”, so here I am now, busy saving the world. =)

Natasha Saleem
My dad’s a pilot, so I spent a lot of time traveling all over the world. Lots of fun! And I got to see the greatest places! Also, I have a lot of family abroad, so eventually we’d end up having a family reunion on the western side of the world with a million cousins and we did everything from snowboarding to going to water parks, depending on if it was winter or summer vacations. :)
We visited any and every place! We went to China, Greece, Switzerland, Dubai, Canada, Turkey – the whole nine yards! The most memorable incident would be from the time when I was in China with my family; I was a teenager back then, so I was dying to go on my own but my parents wouldn’t let me. Instead, they forced me to go to dinner with them to a Turkish restaurant where I discovered that at the end of the night they remove your plates from the table and everyone at the restaurant has to dance on their tables for a prize!! Needless to say my dad and I danced ourselves silly and even won! :D
How are summers different now? EXPENSIVE, considering I have to fund them on my own now, hehehe!

Faisal Kapadia
I was very lucky in the sense that I used to visit the USA and India during summer vacations every year. We visited these places as my siblings lived in the US and most of my relatives lived in India. Unlike today, visiting the US was considered something of great importance back then. There we used to go to various places, parks, malls etc. and going to Disney World was indeed the biggest attraction for me as a kid. Other than that, what fascinated me most during those visits was the CB radio system on the highways through which people used to alert each other if they saw a cop.
Time has brought many changes in my life. When I was a kid I used to wait for the start of vacations. It was the time when there was nothing to worry about, no workload, no tension of the hectic schedule. Unfortunately, summer vacations mean nothing to me anymore. I wouldn’t even notice the start of vacations if I don’t see my kids around. Now, it’s their time to enjoy, I think.

- Compiled by Sam and Jay

Us Magazine, The News - 13th July 2007