Friday, March 5, 2010

JANMABHOOMI - (Mother Earth)

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So many things had changed, since I had left the place. But travel, remained the same. Long, tiresome but exciting. The bus was slower than the bullock cart riding along with us. Yet, I was happy. I got to live the past again- as I crawled through the roads, the trees, the temple. But the air was new. The people were new.
Parimalgram was not some place that would go away from one’s mind- that easily. It had the life in it, that made it eternal- a cherished memory-in the minds of people who had been there. The soil, the aroma- the birds and trees- hawkers, butchers, sweet vendors- school masters. Everything about the place, had life in them.
At a certain age, in one’s life, just when we would think that the people around you are the ones who understand you perfectly, you’d actually begin to realize that they, in reality, could never understand you at all. There was always this gap in you that could never be filled. And you learn to live with it. Accepting differences- which you could never do, until a few years back!
Sometime back, I had this thought that I should visit Parimalgram with my family- show my wife where I was born- my kids- the school where I studied. When I expressed this thought to them, they would not hear one word of it!
“A village! Do you even realize how unhygienic it would be…” said my wife. I didn’t feel like arguing. My kids too, wouldn’t hear about being somewhere without T/V or A/C. But I couldn’t help it for long. So, one day, I just left. Following my heart. Seeking my destiny.
The bus came to a halt. The board was painted new. The soil was the same. I started to walk on those roads- once again. On those roads, I had left my foot prints as a boy. On them, I had dropped toffees- and had cried all the way back home. The soil reminded me of the boy who was the first to leave the place- to seek a different life- a better life. The soil, welcomed her son, home.
There were new houses. New streets. But my eyes, couldn’t wait to see the home I had lived. I lived on the third street. Everyone knew me as the “Pandit’s boy from the third street”. Will anyone recognize me now? I didn’t think so. I was now, different from what I was then. Suddenly, I heard someone call out “Oh! Pandit’s boy”! I was surprised and turned back. I saw someone calling out to a small boy about ten- who went running to answer, as soon as he heard the call.
Things had indeed changed. I was indeed a stranger who was desperately trying to see things around, the way they used to be. Trying to see the past from the present- assuring myself that I belonged there.
The thoughts had driven me to the third street- where I stood now, facing a series of houses and people, unknown. I walked past them, wondering about the changes- excited about my return. There, I could see my house. The house, where I was born, where I had uttered my first word- where my mother looked young!
Only now, it looked different. There were strangers, living in it. They took no notice of me. How long I had stood there, staring at the house- I do not know. But when I had realized that, I had started to walk.
Things change. And one must learn to accept and appreciate it. The bus was as slow as ever- and I could feel a strange emotion as I , moved away from Parimalgram. The place may have changed. The people may be different too. But the soil and the trees had recognized me. I had felt it. I traveled back to my future, carrying along the memories of my past- again, as a boy- who had left Parimalgram- to seek a new future- a new life.

19 comments:

Arjun said...

Wow! Just awesome matangi. So well written. :)

I felt like was on that bus actually.. :)

At a certain age, in one’s life, just when we would think that the people around you are the ones who understand you perfectly, you’d actually begin to realize that they, in reality, could never understand you at all. There was always this gap in you that could never be filled. And you learn to live with it. Accepting differences- which you could never do, until a few years back!

These lines, apart from it's relevance in this story, makes a lot of sense. I can relate. :)

Good to be back to blogging. :)

Cheers..!!
Arjun

Matangi Mawley said...

@ arjun...

thanks a ton arjun.. :)

uspandey said...

Powerful expression of feelings. I have too, at times tried to visit the places associated with my childhood, only to find it populated with strangers. The joy of being there again gets a little dampened by the new habitants who look askance at you.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ pandey...

thanks!

faitaccompli said...

The only place one can find preserved with the past is one's mind... everything else, including one's own self, keeps changing with every passing moment... :)
A very imperative aspect of human psyche - unyielding nostalgia of this irreversible life - very well captured... congrats!

Parul

Matangi Mawley said...

@ parul...

thanks!! :)

Indrajit said...

There is a dilapidated hotel in sec 18 Noida. A guest house actually where we stayed initialy 5 yrs ago... I had been there again fewe weeks ago to the same room and it all seemed the same, the same old smell, ambeince ., everything. Just the rooom rent was hiked.

This post just reminded m,e that, though urs is far richer. :)

rainboy said...

Very well written.
Felt every word of it.

very well written.

tc

Matangi Mawley said...

@ indr..

:D thanks!!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ rainboy...

thanks!!

JeannetteLS said...

Wonderful. Oh, GOOD. A new blog to follow. Some parts of growing up are just, plain universal, aren't they!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ Janette..

:) very true.. thanks!

Chandramouli G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chandramouli G said...

A short and simple (forgive me if I am disabled enough not to find something more than what seems) story to depict the feeling of nostalgia.

I really enjoy reading your short stories. Please keep them coming.

- Chandramouli

IamtheEyeofGod said...

The joy in tasting the simplicities of one's own past truly worth that moment of introspection, but ain't past always what we aspire itto be? Just a thought........ :D

Matangi Mawley said...

@chandramowli..

thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@eye of god..

nice thought!

RamMmm said...

Don't know if your anecdote is a projection of an experience, and it is very well written (some parallel with an out-of-body experience). There are some places that you bond to very well and some that you don't though you might have stayed a decade there. Nostalgia comes from those where you were somehow at peace. I have been through dives through nostalgia triggered by various things and it takes some time to get over it.

Matangi Mawley said...

@ramm..

nt a personal experience.. bt i would nt mind taking off..

thanks!

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