Writing 101: A Place Called Home

Far away in the abode of the Himalayas, lies a small town, a place where I spent my entire childhood. That was the time when I didn’t know that something exists beyond those mountains. Even when I am miles away from that place I still feel it, I see it in my dreams almost every day. I’ve a different kind of connection to that place, a connection that has remain intact even after a decade I left it.

There are memories associated with every single thing, each one igniting a beautiful emotion within me. You know, a particular smell engulfs my hometown, a different kind of smell. It’s a mixture of the smell of wet mud, smoke and wood. No place that I have ever been to equals the aroma and ambiance of my place. I feel like, we the natives of that town, somehow own that aroma.

And the air, it has a different kind of calmness to it.  The way it flows and touches your skin, you can feel the tenderness; you can feel its love for you.The unending sky especially during the months of October or November takes your breath away. You can spend hours just gazing at it. The picturesque nights during Diwali when the entire town is lightened with different kind of bulbs twinkling all over the valley are mesmerizing, nothing could be more beautiful than that.

Winters are the best times of the year. I can’t describe the way I used to wait for the snowfall each year and the moment I would see one or two snowflakes in the sky, I would shout with joy, “oye barf padne lag gyi”. It was fun. Every day was a new day, every moment filled with a little surprise.

All those memories are still there in my mind: Shopping at Gandhi Chauk, running through the streets of Siltham, our school bus going all around the town, walking to school sometimes through the narrow lanes of Dharamshala line, the crowded markets during Diwali, the fairs at moshtamanu , all those pahadi Holi songs, Kumauni folk dance at school, the chilling cold in winters, those plums and peaches, kafals and hisalu (local fruits), that bhatt ka saag and gauhat ki daal (local cuisine). How can I ever forget that? After all, those were the best things and the best moments of my life.

On the eve of leaving my place about a decade ago, I sat on the roof top and looked all around the town, trying to capture everything on my mind. I was sad but didn’t cry until the last moment when I got to see the last glimpse of my town. That was the moment I actually realized that my childhood is over. That was the time to enter the real world away from my paradise.

My hometown taught me to see dreams, to rise above those mountains and to cross every roadblock. Its beauty, its culture, its authenticity, all made me a peaceful person, as calm as the winds blowing during winters, as soft as the snowflakes falling off the sky.

 For me it’s the best place in the world. And I would love to go back there someday and never leave again. Life would be so much more beautiful.

Photo A Day: Here Forever

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I used to wake up to the view of Himalayas every morning, walk thorough those uneven paths, dance to the tunes of local songs, love and live life in my small hilly town. Those memories of childhood never leave my mind. I left home back in 2005, with tears in my eyes, and remorse in my heart, I bid my place goodbye. The career I’ve chosen forbids me to go back, the tiny rural place has no scope for bio-technologists. But every time I see or hear of people going there, I want to run and take the first bus home. I want to breathe that fresh air, smell rain drenched soil, and burnt wood, pluck fresh fruits from our backyard garden, stare at those stars in the endless sky. I want to stop worrying about my studies, job, love, life and everything else and just stay there forever- happily amidst greenery, calm and peace. 

September Photo A Day Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

“If tomorrow will be the end of the world,I’ll spend my today by looking at the pictures of my past!” -Mehmet Murat ildan

In the Himalayan foothills, amidst vast forests, lies my maternal village, a place i fall in love with, again and again. I miss it so intensely that I find myself there almost everyday in my dreams.

I dream about this house we have, which is almost two centuries old. The fireplace, the traditional Indian mortar and pestle, the Himalayan view from the terrace, the balcony which is my favorite place in this world- the memories of childhood.

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I dream about the enormous fields, and fruit orchards, my aunt cutting grass with a sickle, the water canals, and the smell of burning wood mixed with that of green leaves, and mud.

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I dream of the school my mother attended, the one built by my grandfather. I visualize the stories my mother told me of her childhood, the pranks she played, her mischief and adventures.

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I dream of the pet cat we have, the tiny one who is scared of rats. and the cows we own, the new born calf which would have grown up since the last time I saw her, almost four years back.

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I see those temples in my dreams, the Shiva temple located atop a hill, the one I visited with a little girl, who by some complex relationship was my aunt.

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There are places which become a part of your identity, a part of what you see yourself to be- my mother’s village is such a place for me. I can go places, see big cities and metros but I’ll always be  a village girl in my heart. I long to visit that place, to spend quite evenings sitting at the terrace with a cup of tea, lay back and enjoy the beauty of nature, without worrying about the rest of the world.

I’ve a wish-  to be able to live the last days of my life there, to attain peace as my life comes to an end.

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*Weekly Photo Challenge*

HOME

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An old scanned pic

                                                                An old scanned pic

Door ek gaon hai,

Wahan thandi chaon hai,

Behti nadiya hai,

Jana hai nadiya ke paar…

[Some of these pics are clicked by my bro, and if someday he stumble upon this blog, he’s gonna sue me for using his pictures. So i am giving him the credit here. Please don’t mind bro… all in the family.]