Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

Lost childhood, lost innocence

I cannot believe a chain of events has started rolling and the consequence is inevitable. I still pinch myself or slap my cheeks in the middle of the night to check if I am dreaming, if all these events are a mere figment of my imagination. I had never imagined this day to dawn upon us and that we would be at a juncture when certain choices would erase a large alibi of my childhood years. Urbanization was not the problem and it had largely left us untouched not that we are uncivilized brutes living with the ideals of the medieval period. The sanctity of innocence will be invaded, destroyed and will  be replaced by a cosmetic version of ugly concrete monoliths. These events have made me firmly believe that anything is possible under the premise of randomness, coincidence or providence. 

After having written almost a paragraph with cohesive idea entailing about my state of dumbfoundedness I am still in the limbo of being not able to accept the reality and the future there after which will obviously be carved as a consequence to what will happen in a
year hence. No amount of tears or inconsolable relentless circumambulation of my minds portal can pacify my frantic mind. A few years ago I could not relate to my mother's sudden outburst at the dinner table while we spoke at length about her father's estate. She would go on and on about the uncountable citrus trees in the "bagaan", the rows and rows of date palm that lined the sides of the large ponds. Those unending paddy fields which were tended to by an army of boys and the army of staff that had very interesting characters. The stories were unending and I usually got bored because my mother had often repeated them and by that time I could recall word by word what she would tell next. There were peculiar and funny nicknames attributed to each person's physical characteristic. We would now find it downright racist, sexist and discriminating but for my mom and her sisters it was outright fun. She never visited her ancestral house after both my maternal parents passed away. The violent 90's swept the valley and the place where her village was situated was one of the epicenters of violent separatist ethnic movement. Indian army would camp at my grandpa's estate during operations having easy access to fruits, water. Random people would just come in and harvest oranges, tons of beetle nuts and coconuts which would then be sold to middlemen. It was a source of free income for some people. Meanwhile due to absence of any caretakers a big jungle with overgrown grass, trees engulfed my mother's house. She went home after 15 or 20 years and broke down looking at the dismal state. Those little boys and girls who she nick named based on their physical traits were now pot bellied fathers and mothers of grown up children. Gone were the ideals her father ingrained in them to exercise and that having a big belly on a man is akin to being pregnant with a bee hive, it was a disgrace. They all cried, she reminisced about her lovely vacations and her childhood. I found all those long talks and discussion about her father's jolly vacation retreat as I called a big fairy tale that was too good or too rural to be true. 

Birubari 
Now as I forsee the future I will be at the same juncture sharing at length about Birubari with my children and the generation after. I will be rebuked and rebuffed by head strong teenagers to come back to reality and stop living in memories. Wish I could have something to show other than pictures, perhaps a tangible proof of a vibrant and lovely Birubari would suffice to bring them into my world of innocence and my childhood. 

Comments

Abhra said…
This is a lovely post. I will share a story of mine. My maternal ancestors had a similar rural property, which they had to give up because there was no one to maintain and stop the encroachment of neighbours. Actually, it's very difficult to sustain without a strong person in the family. I can almost relate to what you have written.
Jenevi said…
Thank You. :) I am waiting for your post and it is indeed true that one family needs a strong person to be able to save their heritage and their landed legacy.
JD Haggard said…
You write with a lot of emotion. You start with despondency and end with contentment. I really enjoyed your use of your vocabulary and look forward to seeing more from you! I also learned a few words I have never used. Thank you :)