Last Sunday morning my father entered from balcony for lifting up his call he was looking annoyed after attending the call, when I enquired what was the reason he told me that he was dreaming and this telephone woke him up from the dream and brought him back to the reality.
As he told he was dreaming about his lost childhood…….
On a lazy Sunday morning, sitting in balcony, sipping hot tea and enjoying rain is an unparalleled experience. Vivid memories of past passes through the mind like sequence of a movie. People from hinterlands of the country migrate in search of job and choose to stay in busy cities like Mumbai always bear a nostalgic feeling about their “lost villages”. Rain always help memories to take shape and take back us to the “good old days”.
During Late 60s and 70s, each Kerala village use to have one or two primary schools and one high school. Study after seventh standard involve some extra walking through paddy fields or palm groves along with rocky areas. To reach nearest High school, some students used to take bus for a short distance. My village was blessed with a high school with reasonable educational facilities and excellent set of teachers.
Education starts from home, enjoying walk through paddy fields crossing a canal and then the most difficult balancing act of crossing a narrow path way over slippery rock and flowing water during monsoon. After reaching school there will be a foot ball session till the school bell rang. Playground used to be uneven and filled with stones and hard rock pieces. Some areas were slippery and hard. These challenging conditions never affect the zeal of players. Injuries were order of the day due to hard condition of ground as well as aggressive nature of few individual players.
Way back home after school was also equally interesting. People discuss about the day’s events and express their views. Some interactions used to end up in fight between two groups. Walking back home in heavy rain used to be a normal affair during monsoon. Summer evening used to be hot and sticky. People used to prefer shady routes to reach home.
On Sundays and school holiday we used to go to the nearest forest for grazing cows. The forest was not dense, but it used to be the source for fresh grass for cattle and timber for households. Women folk used to go to the forest during early hours of the day and collects logs. They used to pack their days collection and carry by head and exit the forest area before the forest guards become active.
Villages in Kerala were always blessed with its natural water bodies and amazing greenery. Area close to Sahya mountains receive heavy rain from June to October. Due to this the nature used to be fresh and clean during most part of the year but hot and humid during the summer. From February to mid of May, weather used to be very hot and humid during the day. Summer is the time of heat and humidity as well as the temple festivals. Evening Summer rain used to give respite from scorching heat often. Smell of the soil after the first rain fall was a refreshing experience.
April and may were mid-summer vacation days for schools. Day start with busy playing session in harvested paddy fields along with friends and an hour-long bath and swimming session in village pond by noon. After noon was the time for relishing summer delicacies such as mangos and jackfruits. Visiting temple on special days to witness annual temple fest was in the card on few days of the month. During this period, porticoes of temple used to witness various temple art forms like ‘Kalmezhuthu Pattu’ (Color full Rangoli display of portraits of goddess on floor and a musical concert), Chenda melam (a drum concert). Some temples used to organize Kathakali during late evening. Annual festival used to prolong from twelve to fifteen day for each temple with final day as “Vela” or “Uthsavam’. A procession of elephants along with plots depicting men dressed in various Hindu gods and legendary heroes used to be a common mix in these processions. The tallest among the tuskers will carry the deity on its back with ceremonial outfits and other elephants will position either side during the procession. The culmination of the fortnight long festival will be marked with heavy fireworks which will tremble the whole village.
The ringing phone caught my attention and I was brought back to reality. As expected that my boss’ s call. Working from Home gives him a privilege to call me even on holiday morning when I was trying to go back to my golden days in my lost village.