Beach vacations, trips to grandma’s house, reading late into the night, swimming lessons—for children, much of this, and more, may be suspended once again with schools reopening in the Capital this week.
Children heading back to school are dealing with a range of emotions: relief at having finally completed absolutely mind-numbing holiday homework, excitement at meeting up with classmates, and moroseness at having to wake up early and make it to the bus stop in time—most schools in the Capital start at 7.30am in summer.
Summer vacations in Delhi usually start in the second week of May and end in the first week of July, a month after schools reopen in metros like Mumbai and Bangalore.
This week saw children and parents getting back to the grind after two months of holidaying, multiple activity classes and perhaps way too much TV, battling the heat and seeking the now-there, now-not cloudy skies.
The new school term in this part of the world nowadays tends to start with the usual talk of the impending dengue season. In anticipation, municipal corporation schools have already launched a Dengue Homework Programme— children will have to learn more about vector-borne diseases and help monitor stagnant water sources in their neighbourhoods. Private schools have not announced any such plans yet.
The authorities may be gearing up for the seasonal battle with the Aedes aegypti mosquito, but children have other priorities. After spending the better part of May and June attending tennis lessons, craft classes, Bollywood dancing sessions, and scrambling in the last two days to finish scrapbooks and science projects, they are now thronging book stores to stock up on notebooks and textbooks, new school bags and other such accessories, enjoying the light showers as and when they can.
For many of them, the best part of the day is still getting back home—be it in school van cabs, the Delhi Metro, DTC buses or, in some cases, even hitching a ride.
These photographs capture the different moods of this first week.
Photographs by Pradeep Gaur/Mint