Lockdown In Pictures

March: Wheat almost ready for harvest, cooler temperatures, blue skies.
March: This is where I go everyday to get milk. That is a Mango tree in full bloom. The scene, and the cows are more beautiful than they look in the picture.
March: A day after it rained heavily. The hills nearby looked beautiful that day.
March: Moon and Venus, too far, too small, too beautiful!
March: A lady bug sitting on a wheat plant. We used to call it the pass-fail insect. If it flies off your hand, you’ll pass your exams, if it drops down or does nothing, you’ll fail… Very easy method.
April: Wheat is ready for harvest..the fields are golden, the atmosphere is dusty and too allergic.
April: I took a sunset picture almost every single day. This is not the best one. Those are for an altogether different post.
April: Mulberry I stole from a silkworm rearing government farm near our place.
April: Wheat threshing …earlier it used to be done manually..now there are machines that finish the work in minutes.
April: Our neighbours are building a new hut.
May: This dog thinks she’s a calf. I am serious. Ever since they are born, she hasn’t left their side. The proximity increases everyday..
May: This is how it looked at 2 pm one day. It felt like the apocalypse. The sky went dark suddenly and it rained like cats and dogs. It was too too scary.
May: The scenes after the storm. A buffalo calf grazing in the fields.
May: Not the supermoon but a day after that. It was actually this red, I haven’t edited this a bit.
May: This is what a makeshift apiary looks like. It looks like a graveyard to me to be honest.
May:The weather is finally hot in here. Thanks to western disturbances, we haven’t had temperature touching 40°C till now, but summer is coming and I am already stressed out. I hope the monsoons are here soon.

All these pictures were clicked by me in the last two months since the lockdown began. These are all scenes near my home. I didn’t even have to venture more than 500m for these photos. This is how the lockdown looks like when you live in a small Indian village. 😊

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.

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.]