Back to my roots

*9.49 pm* Just had Pizza for dinner so we’re good.

Last Sunday, I stepped out of my house after two months. My parents and I planned to visit some old family friends who had lost a loved one recently. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a much-needed getaway after months of digital screen time. So, post a light lunch, we wore our masks, sanitized our hands and got in the car. Our destination was Kadus – a village where both Mom and Dad were born and raised.

We drove on a fairly empty highway that had luscious green carpets on either side of the road. The sky was filled with various patterns of clouds and the sun rays peeked from the crevices. Every year I make it a point to go on at least one road trip in the monsoon season. It couldn’t happen this year, but this unplanned visit to my village was close enough to be considered my annual monsoon getaway.

Once we reached the village and met with the family we were visiting, Dad and I took off to pay respects to the local deity that he has been worshiping since his childhood. At the temple, he surprisingly met two of his school teachers. He had last seen them in 1980; he was overjoyed. They were equally delighted to see him as he was. As he spoke to his teachers, I saw my father become a 15-year old school boy again. He stood before them with a smile that stretched ear to ear, his hands automatically folded behind the back as he addressed them ‘Sir’. In that fleeting moment, Dad had transported back to his childhood and it opened the floodgates to nostalgia. For the next two hours, I just listened as he shared countless anecdotes from his younger days with a childlike glee on his face.

Later, we went to the dam and walked on the wall that stood between the clean blue water on one side and the vast green fields on the other. It was a beautiful view made even better with Dad’s stories. He told me how he and his friends would drop their school bags in the classroom and run to their farm, roam around bare feet in the sun or take a nap under the trees. He told me how they would climb atop the hill, face the strong gusts of wind and have the best time of their lives. He also told me how they would camp near the dam, cook their own dinner and even try some beer. I couldn’t stop wondering how fun Dad’s childhood must’ve been, and how much he had changed on the outside now. I could sense that he wanted to be a mischievous little village boy, run atop the hill and face the winds once again.

Dad has always been a good storyteller. He always has the most detailed descriptions of his adventures. I also know that he used to write a diary in his younger days and that makes me wonder if I got the story-telling gene from him. After our fun day-out, I urged him to take up writing again. I asked him to pen down one page, a single memory of whatever he remembers, every day. He seemed quite interested in the idea, I hope he does it. What a fascinating memoir it would make!

Our last stop was my mother’s childhood home which is currently under reconstruction. We are hoping it will be ready soon so we could visit our quiet little village more often. Until then, here are some pictures from the unplanned Sunday visit to my village.

T’was a fine day!

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