Sep 26th, 2005 3:37:27 pm - Subscribe
Mood: Nostalgia

Hello Everyone !

When i go slipping and sliding into the beautiful memory lanes of my maternal family, the memories that warm me are the earliest memories of childhood spent with Ajoba and Aaji.
Ajoba used to play teacher and student with me. I used to teach him ABC and clearly remember having the feeling that he didnt know ABC. And now when i remember it, it seems so silly. He was an educator, ofcourse he knew ABC ! But the heart he put into the game warms me.
He used to take me out to the bazaar and buy me lozenges and Parle-G all the time. That still means a lot to me. We used to worship together. He had this elaborate ritual that i loved to watch. I still remember the small dev ghar.He was a good child hood friend and i miss him.

Aaji was a bundle of joy and love. Small things made her happy. Her kids and grandkids were the love of her life. Once i was missing her and so Aai suggested to write to her. I WROTE TO HER IN MARATHI. ME.....who never knew the A of Marathi...wrote to her in all can imagine the number of mistakes I must have made in it. But i did not know about the mistakes....matter of fact i was very proud of the fact that i did a good job ...i was little !!!....and posted the letter.

Many years later when i met Aaji she very sweetly took out this very worn letter and told me " I still read it sometimes".....I was touched.....i read the letter and when i saw all the mistakes that i had made in it....i was so touched that she did not even mention it.....but we laughed over it.
We had a hard time communicating......she did not know english and hindi and i did not know marathi very well......but we managed. I still remember the pain staking efforts my Aai took to teach us marathi so that we could talk to Aaji.

I remember Aaji coming to orissa with Suresh Mama and Shaku Maushi ( I was in love with Shaku Mavshi). Remember Aajis thin frame and her long hair. She always used to be so amused and proud of all the things we could do. I was being rude to AAi once and she reprimanded me. I still feel that she was so correct in reprimanding me that time.
I had been to Sudha Mamas place one time with Baba. I had been very sick and was rail thin. Aaji was like...." Eat this and eat that"....she wanted to stuff me the whole time and the surprising thing is i never refused anything that she offered. I was having a pig out. Her love, coaxing and care was so touching.
And this is so funny.......she asked me if i knew how to cook.......(now very few people in the family believe that i can cook or that i could cook ) .....and i said yes......she was very surprised....she cud not believe it.......she asked " polya pan"....i replied
"yes"....and guess what....she asked me to make some coz she was so baffled....that was a very funny experience for me. She was so much in awe just because i cud make some polis. The simple things in life !! Uncomplicated.

I remember one time there was this "ghata party" we had at Sudha Mama and Hima Mami's place. Aaji was cooking up ghata in this HUGE patela. And there were so many of us. But Suresh Mama was not there and i heard Aaji say many a times..."Suresh nahi aahe, tyala khup awatah ghata". I was so touched that she remembered her son so fondly coz he was not there to have ghata. That ghata was one of the tatiest ones i had in life. I still remember it very distinctly.

Whenever Aai visited Faizpur....Aaji would gift her things. She would give her anything and everything. I always felt she was so much into giving that she always put her children above her...and Aai would cherish those gifts. They were always dear to her heart. But i guess Aai took it from Aaji...whatever we children would ask...she would lovingly and willingly give us everything..even if her Aai had painstakingly kept aside the gift for her since years.

I miss apla faizpur cha ghar also very much. The house itself, that galli, the people who lived in the galli when i used to visit faizpur with mom. The third floor was an exploring ground for me. It was this mysterious place that kept calling to me and Aaji had to eventually tell me that there were snakes there to keep me from going there. Even now i feel like going and checking it out. The second floor still amazes me to remember that there was a washing room there (bathroom...of neighbours in the back) with no roof !!! Not that i saw anyone but a bathroom with no roof !!??!! The peru cha jhad......the futile trying to get to the i remember doing something bad.....there is this open window in the roof for the kitchen...i have dropped some "Mati" from there and got some sound hearing for it too. The balcony was also a favourite place for me to hang. The sightings of the mongoose in the vacant plot beside the house also interested me. Boy !! There was some mongoose population in faizpur.
I have so many memories !! How much can i say ??!! i wonder.
I loved the stone steps to the house and the wooden steps to the second floor. I loved the pillars. I guess...i love that house. The reflections of sitting on the steps in the evenings and hearing the dulcet sound of the sparrows in the peepal tree and sleeping in front of the house in a little charpoi have made a permanent home in my heart. It cannot be described.

It used to feel so good.....we all would gather there in Summers and just have a good time. I cannot begin to describe how sad i feel that i did not make it to Faizpur most summers as much as i could have. The void of memories that i could have collected ...i guess that void can never be filled and the regret will always remain. I feel sad that i had never heard the terms "Beduk uday"....."pattein"....never palyed zabbu with you all....and most of all i guess....that i never went to Songad...i have heard such good things about Songad......i truly feel sorry ...and thats why i feel very glad about the fact that we have this blog and we are in touch with each other aleast virtually.

I guess this is enough of an emotional outburst today......I want to write so much more about the people who have touched my life and are so doing even now.....but i will get to it later. I am a big time procastinator !

Regds and love to you all,

Comments: (2)

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anonymous - September 30th, 2005
Meghu.. I didn't know that you have never been to Songhad.. I was assuming that all of us have been there atleast once.. silly me..
but thanks for telling us more about ajoba.. I seriously don't remember interacting with him so much..
keep us posted..

anonymous - September 30th, 2005
Meghu, this *is* really a nostalgic post! Ajoba and Aaji! They had so much of simplicity, purity and love for us all. Even those little moments spent with them have become memories of lifetime! And Faizpur cha ghar, your description about the mysterious 3rd floor, it reminded me about it upto the extent that I can still feel the thrill! Stone steps, small wooden extension of verandah (otta), wooden pillars, heavy iron bars in the ceiling, heavy wooden front door, early morning smell of mingled smoke and earth (water sprinklings - paani shimpad lele), rush of Atul half naked, to brush and bathe across the house, big puff of stored cotton in the storage room [many of us would stealthily get into this room and jump on this huge cotton blob]....haunting. So very nostalgic! -Sandip

Sorry anonymous, this user does not allow double comments to be posted.