Monday, January 16, 2012
I have never lived alone by myself---got married very young and moved into a Joint Family--- from where we shifted into our own Flat---and became a Unit within a larger Unit!!!Somehow the bonding between the four of us--Sudhir,our two daughters and me---was so strong that Summer and Winter Vacations were always Family time----and we spent almost all out time together!!Since we almost always drove down to Kolhapur--our ancestral Town---we carried along with us Scrabble,Boggle,plenty of Books and a medium sized Carrom Board to keep ourselves and the Girls amused in the long,hot Summer afternoons while Winter afternoons were spent cuddled up in warm,cosy "Razaaees" or Quilts--hand made and stuffed with Cotton.Later as the Girls began growing up we began venturing all over India---specially the North--and here the Climate always was very chilly even in Summer---specially in the State of Himachal Pradesh---situated on the Himalayan Foothils called the Shivalik Range----meaning the Snow covered Land.
A visit in 1983 to Kashmir is perhaps one of my fondest Summer Vacations we spent together and like the Moghul Emperor Jahangir one just has to admit that it is Paradise on Earth!!The very Air carries the heady scent of Crocus---for that is when these Saffron bearing Flowers bloom---and the babbling Rivers specially the Lidder at Pahalgaam---Kashmir is truly a Feast for the eyes,the Olfactory senses and oh yes---the Tongue!!As the Girls grew older we travelled further by Train---both Sudhir and I loved the journeys----sitting like two excited children on opposite Berths peering out at the tiny Hamlets and rural Stations we passed specially at night.Our daughters weren't interested in the Scenery---and preferred the Upper berths---each carrying a pile of Books to demolish on the way---for the Bombay---New Delhi journey lasted 22 hours--for we took the Paschim Express mostly---the superb Rajdhani was a later addition.We were served all our Meals on the Train but I still made Meat and Shrimp Pickles with crisply fried Parathas to carry along with us--besides a dozen hard boiled Eggs,Ham Sandwiches and Biscuits to eat along the way.There were also the Goodies available at each Station we stopped--and were added on to our consumption of Goodies with great relish!!!
It was the smaller Stations which were very fascinating---the Trains slowing down a little there but not stopping---their dimly lit single Platforms looked so poetic and invitingly tempting that added an air of iresistable Romance to the whole thing!! Both of us had then decided---that once the Girls grew up and moved out after their respective Weddings---both of us would take Train Journeys to these tiny Hamlets and just spend some time there---discovering the rural flavour of those fascinating places!!Unfortunately we never got around to doing that---something both of us genuinely missed---and deeply regretted!!Not just that we also never got around to just sitting out on our little Balcony and enjoying the heavy Monsoon Downpours---with cool sprays of Rain Water splashing over us!!We just never got around to drinking Mugs of steaming hot Soup in evenings of our short Mumbai Winters on the Balcony either---Sudhir became an extremely busy Lawyer as he grew older---and to be honest I too enjoyed the Jam that added taste to my Bread and Butter!!
However the list of things we actually enjoyed as a couple--specially in the last 11 years far outweigh those that we didn't-------I think we fell in Love all over again with each other---but this time it was with a deeper Understanding of each other's natures that enhanced our Compatibility---leading to such a cohesive Bonding that even today it is as if he's still with me physically--only invisibly so!!!