When present becomes monotonous, just take a back seat and let the life takeover you. This is what I have been doing for the past three to four days and thought to share my experience with you all.
Well, life took me to a pleasurable journey to the past. The journey was destined to discover the happy moments I spent in my ancestral home back in Rohtak. It was a house cum haveli which was located on the edge of the street. You had to climb up the road to enter into the street. Probably the largest house in the lane it attracted many eyes of the property dealers and neighbors who were always willing to buy it for any amount of money.
The haveli had large red colored doors which opened into a small space leading the way for an enchantingly large verandah. With creepers climbing up on the opposite wall of the verandah and the moss which grew on the wall usually due to the rains gave it a lush green color adding up to its charm. It was a hub of all our daily activities as it linked the kitchen, the petite rooms and the bethak (living room). Well it was in this verandah only where my parent’s sangeet ceremony was held. Not to forget, when all my cousins got together it brought life to this place.Playing cricket, getting intentionally wet when it rained, and of course taking bath by splurging into the tubs kept in the verandah makes me feel nostalgic. Honestly it was a paradise for me as I visited during summer breaks. Though I was quite young at that time maybe four to five years old but as far as my memory supports me, at night we all placed the charpoys in the verandah and all my cousins would fight for pillows and who will sleep with my grand mother. But I always used to sleep with my mother as at night a dim lit lamp was left switched on which would throw light in the darkness . And with bats sweeping up in the sky at night nearly scared me to death. But at the same time I enjoyed being close to my beloved ones.
Besides the verandah, the other fascinating place was the living room which we called bethak. It surely gave our house the look of old haveli’s which one gets to see in movies. With horns of some animal elaborately fixed on either side of the hall and red leather crouch placed systematically it surely was a pleasant sight for shooting some horror film. 🙂 On the other hand the loo was indeed fascinating and stinky all the way. Instead of flushing down the crap, it was the sweeper who carried away the crap. (Stinky enough ……god knows how people can do such jobs).
But yes, as every haveli has its share of ghost stories so did our have. It was my mother who witnessed it. She tells me that one day it had started raining all of a sudden. So she ran to grab the clothes which were left for drying in the verandah and then suddenly she saw someone running towards my grandfathers room. I don’t know how much truth does it holds but I too always felt scared in that room as it was dimly lit and had an unpleasant yet a heart jamming coldness(oops I went to the gloomy side of it).
So returning back to the pleasant part, I remember how all my cousins would fight for the packets of chatmola (sweet balls) which our grandmother bought for us. Of course, then we enjoyed ice creams which we got straight from the ice cream factory down the street. Then there were our tenants cum more of well wishers who occupied the first floor of the house. Their son whom we called Kaley bhaiya would take us to the ice cream factory and also bring us a good amount of gaajar ka halwa for us just Rs 10 . 😀 God! I really cherish those days. But after death of my grandmother in 1999, we sold the house. Now, just a week back ago my mother got the news that our house which was sold to someone who turned it into a music school, has now been demolished to pave way for the Reliance tower. It was quite shocking for me as the house which survived althrough the good and the bad times, sheltered my family and strengthened our bond has today given up to all the odds.
But as it is said that the show must go on. So this is my tribute to all my ancestors who built that beautiful house. The house which gave me an identity, housed my childhood and now after so many years as I look back I have nothing to say except thank you.