March 29, 2011

The Last 30 Summers - First sixteen years

30 summers and how did I spend it.

It is not a consequential question for many, but me, for as long as I remember, have had my father and bade-papa exclaiming that India is a very hot country, and as a result - have been very excited about the impending heat and on the ways to enjoy it.

The First sixteen years is a period that I remember for watching Chooti-Chooti on the Bengal Doordarshan, usually in the afternoons, playing early morning cricket and again in the late evenings. As the chooti-chooti serial would begin at 12 or was it at 1 pm, we would assemble in one of the homes and basically eat and sleep while watching that iconic serial.

Evenings would be cycling invariably. However, soon, I started going out more and more with myself - mostly because most of my friends had their parents transferring themselves out the wilderness called Girmint. Invariably, the summers becam self discovery months.

I wold be cycling to really dangerous areas - even for adults. Chat up with illegal mine workers, check out how they wash the coal or burn it to make charcoal.

Once, and I remember it vividly. The monsoons had burst at its seams and the whole area was under a dense cover of water. I knew the illegal miners were around as I had seen them last evening. Walking upto to those mines through some heavy rains, I reached the mines but everything was changed. More than 2-3 acres of land had vanished. My stomping grounds were missing. And as suddenly as I watching, I saw land going under. Subsidence is as they call it in our part of the world and it had begun right in front of me. I stepped back and more, and then more. Finally, I stood as the ground seemed harder and barely a couple of feet away, it ended. A big pond was being created right in front of my eyes, no illegal miner was killed and the ladies will have nice place to wash their clothes.. It was the dawn of a new pukur