Thursday, August 26, 2010

Past Continuous…the after effect still remains…

I have seen rivers rising because of heavy rains in the rainy days. When the warning bell rang, people flowed in huge numbers to the riverside to see the fury of the river, all for the flood.

Now Delhi, India’s capital city has flooded streets. So you need not go to the Yamuna banks to see the rising water.

It may seem like a Once Upon a Time Storyin my childhood days, we managed to tear out pages from our used note books…those which were of no use…make paper boats and let them flow in the drains. Happy to have lived in independent houses where there was a courtyard, washed every morning with lots of water splashed across and the broom swept off the water to the side drain that flowed out into the main drain. A separate block housed the kitchen, the store room and the sacred Puja area…a room very special where idols of different Gods were housed and a space very much dedicated to the gods of the house. The main living area, with long running verandah, where the morning sun bathed the floor with its first rays…inviting to rise early and enjoy the birds chirping and enjoy the cool fresh air around. In winter quits, pillows, blankets, were put out in the sun on the verandah…bathe in the heat and give comfort from the cold at night.

There was so much work in the garden. Roses…small and big of different colours…attracted the honey bees who flirted with them, fussing with the sweet small and then fly away.

…cabbage, tomatoes, ladyfingers, green chillies, cauliflower, brinjal (egg plant), fresh green coriander, fresh mint leaves…and more in one’s own garden.

The guava trees, we climbed…physical fit activity with childhood fun and frolic…, mangoes on the trees in summer, bananas green and ripe, lemon, amrah (sour fruit), jamrool (a fruit), papaya…cook it raw and eat when ripe and sweet… That was life not out of a story book not very long ago. The flowers like togor and joba, grew in abundance, plucked early in the morning and placed in the flower basket…washed and ready to offer to the gods.

We breathed fresh air, rode cycles, and cycle rickshaws for convenience. Cars were not so common…each family did not have 2/3/4 cars as of now. Cars were indeed a luxury. Buses and trains …summer vacation travel was so much enjoyable. And going by air…simply a dream. But boat rides in the local river sometimes…what an experience!

The chullah…coal was used to light the fire…was kept burning for a long time…Baba would ask for tea anytime, some special dishes cooked for guests who arrived without notice. And Ma was never unhappy to entertain untimely guests…Atithi Devo Bhabha…helping hands to assist her.

…and pets were looked after with so much care and love. Parrots, dogs, cats, common pets. Build a pen and then house the hens and enjoy the fresh eggs…wrap the fresh egg in the palm and feel the heat… Pigeons pecked the mustard seeds from the palms and flew round and round in the evenings to come back to their home built from wooden plans with a wire mesh to keep away the cats.

No washing machines but clothes soaked in soap water for an hour or half and then rubbed and scrubbed and washed under the tap to dry out in the sun.

Achar jars lined out in the sun when the sunshine was strong to avoid fungus from layering the top. The puja room stacked the pickle bottles and only one person allowed to serve this stuff which would last for the whole year.

Today, as I looked out of my second floor window, thoughts of the life I have lived came knocking at my minds door. Home…limited space, movement restricted…have to think thrice to go down the steps to the road. Life has gone through a change and I have the computer to write down my thoughts.

Adjustment is the right word but the Missing Effect remains...


  1. That life seems to be a total delight now..when I lived in a big independent house in my childhood, I wanted a cosy apartment, now feel nostalgic...

  2. As for Delhi is concerned, Sheila Dixit will have a lot to explain

  3. Renu, YES, the life that was was a total delight. When tall rising bulidings started coming up I felt it would be so nice to live somewhere high up. But facing the ground reality now, that simple old fashioned spacious house, where the entire childhood was spent...the pleasant memory gives a rock n roll effect....
    At least we are lucky to have lived and enjoy a life that we can recall and share those wonderful thoughts with our next generation and next...
    Thanks for the nice comment.

  4. Chowlaji, no one will come up to answer for the complications and mess they have created. Instead, they will try to make matters worse. After all there is a limit to everything and when it crosses the danger mark who knows what will happen...maybe wait for Aristotles Politics...

  5. Sonal, welcome and thanks for the read and comment.