As a child, vacations for me and my brother meant visiting grandparents and cousins in our native village.
It was about living the carefree rustic life far from the everyday disciplined routine of the city life.
It was about deriving loads of fun from volunteering to run the handpump endlessly to fill buckets of water for everyone in
It was about roaming aimlessly around our fields and plucking chilies from our vegetable patch.
It was about plucking the guavas from the small trees of the village orchard and never having to run after that. We were allowed to get away with it being called ‘Seheri babus‘.
It was about watching the currency notes have no value for the purchases were mostly made in exchange of grains and this seemed interesting to us.
It was about sleeping on the terrace in the summer nights, lying down watching stars in clear night skies and figuring out constellations.
It was about witnessing a shooting star on one such night. Unforgettable, it will always remain.
It was about the excitement of cutting fodder in the machine for the buffaloes and Dadi forever cautioning in the background to watch for our hands from coming in contact with the cutting blades.
It was about sitting by the chulha in the winter nights to stay warm.
It was about the no electricity days and knowing how life was a big fun even without the lights, fans and the television.
The visual images still remain vivid in my mind.
I dream for such a childhood for my son. But, I know this will never be the same for him. The reasons are galore. For one, development has awakened my sleepy village from its stupor with electrification and automation. Now, nobody sleeps on the terrace but in fans and coolers. The halogen lights are so bright that the starry skies of the dark nights have vanished. The guava orchard is long gone because the aged fruitless trees had to be cut down.
The realisation is I can take my son to travel across the world but not to the village of my childhood. I can buy him a ticket to a farm situated on the outskirts of the city I live in, yet I will not be able to give him the experience of what it is like to own the place completely.
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