North India winters
In Punjab its cold and brrrrr at this time of the year. Very cold.
Open fields. Sarson in full bloom and o boy! It is a sight for sore urban eyes. A town that is bursting at its seams , the bullock cart and the sedan both jostling for space on the same over crowded market road, the havelis almost touching its neighbors walls on its 3 sides. The warm sun trickling into the courtyard in the center of the haveli and the charpais being laid out to sun ourselves. Hot paranthas being served with a tall glass of warm milk and ghee, breakfast and conversations and the entire extended family together over a weekend. Can be heart warming and so very different from my daily city life.
Days later drive into Delhi , struggling with the onslaught of city population and urbanization. Smell of food, and CO2 emissions mixing together to cause nausea. Not withstanding the onslaught, making our way to the tiny lanes of old Delhi to eat Dalebe’s hot ghee soaked jalebis. And Lohrilals aloo rasewala and kulchas. No place for the driver to park the car, so double park it brazenly and invite him to eat along. Or better still have him served in the car while we stand amongst the many others rubbing shoulders with all socio economic classes to get the soul food.
Making our way past Janpath (my mums maternal home), I cant help but reflect on the summer days in Delhi when we used to sleep under the open skies in the garden lawns. We were in class 6, 7, and 8 then. There was no light, sound or other pollution at that time. By 10pm we would be done with dinner and all would move to the well laid out khatayis beckoning us in the gardens. I remember initially as a city slicker I was way too afraid to sleep in the open lawns as my cousin would have my back up with stories of she devils living on those trees that looked down on me as I lay on the cot in the open air. Eyes squeezed tightly shut, having moved my cot closer to mum n dads, I would slowly feel my lids becoming heavy with sleep .The universe was there to comprehend in all it's fairy tale glory. The stars and the moon would create a magical world for us glistening at arms length. I would search for the rabbit inside the moon and spot it without fail every night as I’d lie on the cot in the garden by night.
In those days we would travel as a big family from Bombay by train to Delhi and the journey in itself was a huge holiday. Packed with food and chocolates and water flasks and tea thermos’s. The added zing to the journey was the many stations where the train would stop we'd alight and then jump back on promptly in case the train started and left us behind! And of course my parents delight drinking tea in those beautiful kulhads at some railway stations en route to Delhi, my mum buying Surahi’s by the dozen because she was fascinated with these earthen wares for drinking water that tasted like straight from earth- pure and clean and then lugging it back to Bombay! Simplicity had a different meaning then:)
Posted by Mee at 23:17