Far away from this smudged boisterous city; there is a land where I have spent my childhood. There are no multiplex theatres and you will not find vehicles stuck at traffic signals for hours together. Nobody fakes their accent and sit upright over night to work for people in other continents. It is a very small place, over looking the Arabian Sea!

To one corner of this little town, there is a three storied bungalow built years ago, much before I was born. This house, (which is now locked and covered by weeds) is the only existing thing that connects my memory to my great-grand mother, who once up on a time, lived there all alone! Extremely charming and beautiful; she is one of the most courageous women I ever knew - a wonder being to me, even today! Born to a rich father and married to a rich man, her life however was confined to the house and few acres of land surrounding it.

I still remember how it feels to touch the deep dimple on her right cheek as she chewed the betel leaves. She survived on them - betel leaves, hazel nut and a tiny iron crusher. Carefully she takes out a leaf, tear the edge, place it on one side of her forehead, applies the white paste (calcium carbonate!), insert crushed nuts, fold and then chews soothingly! Looking at her, I feel the red juice in her mouth contains all the joy on earth!

She seats herself by the side of a pillar in the long varanda, taking count of the people who pass by. During monsoon, trust me... there is no better place! It takes you to a completely different world. You could hear the pitter-patter on the slanting roof above. Sipping a cup of hot tea, lazily leaning against the pillar, gazing at the rain falling on the shrubs used to be my favorite evening activity (once upon a time!). The silence of the nature is broken only when people talk to each other. Other wise, you will hear only birds & water in the stream that flows crossing the courtyard of the house.

My grand mother passed away more than a decade ago. Today, why did I think of her and that house? Thoughts are now at a distance, yet crisp in recollection. Nostalgia is a momentary composition of disjointed memories; I seem to get reflective about lot of things I wasn’t so passionate about before. To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye to restore and render memories!

P.S: This small town however is no more “small”. It has struck newspapers and news channels big time! The recent discovery of links between national and international terrorist groups and their functioning in Kannur drives the point. I still cannot believe that people involved hail from this “small” town!


MissAnnThrope said...

you never took me there madam. you promised!

Shalini Surendran said...

Tomorrow never dies! :)

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