The months of May and June in Chandigarh see the arrival of truckloads of watermelons from Rajasthan, UP and other states. The water melon seller parks himself with family on the roadside for the entire season and sells this juicy fruit at approximately a dollar for three kilos. The ones you see here weigh about five to six kilos. So with bargaining you can get a good watermelon for a hundred rupees. Right now there must be a hundred such watermelon sellers all over the Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.
Monsoon clouds sound the death knell for watermelons because they get juicy and sweet in hot temperatures only; also with the rains the desire to have watermelons disappears much to the disappointment of the sellers.
Summer Solsticethinking: when I was a toddler my grandmother would always call Christmas a ‘Badaa Din.’ I thought then that she meant Long Day or ‘Big Day.’ I always thought it described the length of the day but today it dawned upon me she meant a big day for the former white rulers of India. She as a young girl had seen the days of Empire under Queen Victoria, or the Mallka (Empress). She had lived through an era ruled by King George V and King George VI. She was definitely aware of Queen Elizabeth.
I also used to wonder ‘how this day can be long when it gets dark so early on the 25th of December?’ Thus on June 21 of 2013 I have figured out what a simple phrase meant ‘Bade din kee chhootian’ was nothing more than Christmas Holidays and not as I confusedly thought ‘holidays of the long days.’