Very recently, I was talking to my friend-cum-junior-cum-neighbour. It was our autumn breaks and she was asking me to spend some time with her group of friends. I told her that I had to visit my grandma's place and so, can't join her. Her inquisition held me with all sorts of questions: Where does my grandma lives? Who all are there in the house? Is it a joint family? I informed her that she lives in the suburbs with my aunt and cousin and all the relatives living nearby.
Autumns in India and especially, in West Bengal are a time for celebrations. Durga Puja is celebrated with huge pomp and show over here. I've never lived in the state during my growing up years, but, without any delay used to be here for the grand celebration. So was the case with all my aunts and uncles and cousins. All Of Us In That Old House.
This house is an old ancestral house with big pillars and a lovely courtyard, built in the old Calcuttan style. During the pujas, it used to be the epicentre of all the fun n' frolic: the amalgam point of the three generations of my family- the family who led and lived separate lives in different parts of the world throughout the year. We lived a gala time.
But now the separate lives of all of us have embedded its worth so deeply in our cores that the Old House has lost all its value. Yes, we still visit the house but the visits are tailor-made. Every one of us does so but, according to their schedule and convenience. And some of us don't even have the time for that.
The house which once breathed life, now, stands dead and cold, like a cadaver. It's in ruins- the big hall, where we all laughed our lungs out; the verandah, where we ramp-walked; the rooms, where we hid during our hide and seek games; the circling stairs, where we started chatting about our puppy-loves and crushes - just like us, living detached from our roots, soulless.
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God Bless All!