Saturday, September 7, 2013

Our trees still grows in Almora [part one]

In a life span of 30 years (I will be within a next few weeks), there are very few days I remember..very few faces and memories I have....most of the people I have met or places I have been was like a Tequila shot....scintillating at first but the sensation slowly fades into your tongue...the sweet salted aftertaste lasts for about an hour and then goes off...Amongst scores of stuff I have been thinking over, there are something I would like to share for the sake of posterity as my ancestors genes are pretty infamous for Alzheimer.

 It was 2001, sufficiently long back to be considered as a decade. I was studying a small Tech college in downtown Calcutta. I did not had any friends in college, and being extremely shy with a speech and hearing problem, I seldom mingled in groups...which people of my age did it with utter panache.

That year, we decided to spend our Durga Puja vacation in a small Himalayan town called Haldwani. I had never heard its name before. It looked like a small dot on the giant map of Kumaon Himalayas I had borrowed from a fellow classmate.

I was quite dissatisfied with the choice of vacation though. Being in my college freshman years, and where my friends would date and roam around the city with pretty girls hand in hand during Durga Puja and eat egg roll, I found this idea of visiting a relative in remote Himalayan village amidst all the hustle bustle in Calcutta, quite revolting.

After a decent amount of fiery discussion, I decided to follow my father, who promised that it would be life changing experience for me...I reluctantly sat on the crowded Akal Takht Express.
It was Sosthi, 6th Day of Durga Puja...Like a prelude to Christmas, the festivities had just began..I could sense a joyous mood all around me except me, who like people of my age was unsure and perturbed by the choice that elders made without consultation.

It was an overnight journey though the hearts of Bengal, Bihar and UP, crisscrossing three states, countless paddy fields, semi deserted and deserted stations, thinly built railways guardsman waving green moth eaten flags. My favorite however was a certain species, called Chanachur-walah, the man folks who sell mouth watering mixture of various delectable chanachur across various Indian long and short distance trains.

As we traveled through the gentle green plains of Bengal into rustic UP, the landscape changes. It had a kind of masculine, rugged, unapologetic country side features. As dark night trickled in, I decided to retreat into my upper berth.

Thinking about what awaits me tomorrow, I went to sleep after sufficiently satisfied with my choice of dinner which comprised of aluminum foil wrapped extra oily Chapathi (Indian bread) with thick Dal (Indian lentil soup) followed by several sweets which my father bought from local sweet seller.

I closed my eyes and started visualizing what my classmates might be doing now! Some might be in fabled Maddox square, may be in Simla part or Ballygunge Sarbojonin! I was sure they are having more romantic/adult fun than I was having on sluggishly moving ancient locomotive where people tend to be snoring a lot.

[To be continued]

1 comment:

  1. Enjoying your memoir so far. Very descriptive. Since this is a memory you've retained, it must have great significance for you. Looking forward now to reading part 2.