I understood the reality by the end of my first few days in Delhi and was trying hard to adopt the new environment. The loneliness started to grow on me. I’m thousands of kilometres, twenty four hours away from my home, from my friends and from all the people who could understand me. I realized the meaning of ‘Home Sick’ and ‘Feeling Lonely’ in its true sense of words. At every night I had a dream of me spending my time with everyone at home, getting up early with the sound of a rooster followed by a morning walk in the village road. The dream would be so realistic that every time I would almost expect to wake up in my own room, filled with the pale yellow morning light. But disappointment would be waiting for me in disguise. That loneliness still had a deep impact on me and I am still trying to come out of it without any success. Meanwhile I started loving the place of my work and started living my life here.
It was more than a decade ago. I’m still nurturing the dream inside my heart to wake up in the morning at my home someday. Now, I am back at my village and entered my home after one year. It really hadn’t changed. I am still feeling the pains of nostalgia but it’s a moment of joy. I was at home. It had never felt so good, so what about last year! It’s the same feeling every time, year after year. I’m a sentimental crab.
West Bengal is a river-centric and mainly an agricultural state. Her economy and prosperity depend on agriculture. The district Hooghly and Burdwan are one of the most fertile lands in Bengal, as well as in the country. Though rice is the prime crop, the agricultural economy largely depends on potato, jute, vegetables and orchard products. There are many cold storages around to store mainly potatoes and supply them all over India. Again our agriculture depends on the mercy of nature that is rain.
Monsoon had already arrived early, by the starting of June in Bengal, including some other parts of the country this year. We can differentiate all six seasons and enjoy new scenes here. Rainy season is undoubtedly my favourite season. In Bengal, it means rain, rain and even more rain till September. Just as I arrived the rain came. I opened the window and sniffed at the air. It still smelt the same.
It didn’t take long when I drifted away into another world while listening to the mesmerizing sound of the raindrops. Remembering my favourite poem ‘The Rain’ by William H Davies:
“I hear leaves drinking Rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
‘Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.
And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
‘Twill be a lovely sight.”
Finally the rain stopped after an hour. We had a sigh of relief. There was scarcity of water and everyone was thirsty. We saw the writing on the walls rain, rain and even more rain and looked forward to a good season ahead. If there is sufficient rain, our joy knows no bound. It’s time to plough our lands and sow seeds on time. It also washes away the filth and clears the atmosphere.
It was a welcome surprise for me after a long time when I got up in the morning around 4 O’clock as soon as I heard the nature’s alarm clock. The sound of a rooster. The horizon was still in twilight stage and the sun was about to rise. Few people were already on the road to go for a walk and breathe fresh air, to greet the first sun rays.
“Kajal, kobe eli. Kemon achis.” [“When did you come, Kajal? Hope you are well.”]
It is good to hear ‘Kajal’ again after a long time. Amitava is nowhere exists in their dictionary. We have two names…Do you remember the film ‘Kahani’? So, it is ‘Kajal’ for me (amar dak-nam). It’s a very common name for boys and girls.
After initial greetings, we took the quiet village road which led us to the beautiful river ‘Damodar’. It was few KMs away and an hour walk from our home. The place was so quiet and beautiful. I spent many evenings there. We used bicycle to reach the place, however, decided to walk for a change…trying to develop that habit seriously.
We continued our stroll as the sun showered the place with its bright yellow glitters and rays. It was a pleasant walk. That scene, to say the least, took my breath away, once again. There was no sound, nothing to be heard, except the cocophony of birds from nearby trees. It was a magical morning of silence and wonder. I sat there almost an hour, took some pictures in my mobile camera. It’s six O’clock and we decided to return. This place is so alluring. I promise to come back again. This walk is one of the special moments for me.
Life has already started in this part of the world. Farmers were going to the market with their products. Vegetables are fresh from the field. As I looked ahead, I saw the golden rays of the sun pour through the trees at my house. The morning sun rays offered an additional beauty to the house. It looks so beautiful.
We had a plan to go to Kolkata to meet some relatives, as well as sight seeing. Breakfast was ready and I just can’t expect anything else. A typical breakfast at home consists of ‘muri’ (puffed rice), coconut, singara and rosogolla, other than the all time favorite ‘Luchi’. I am definitely not in my dream.
Village life has it’s own charm & beauty with many disadvantages. We have our own tale of joy and sorrow. It is the same in a city as well. None can exists without the other.
So, this is my village. I touched some personal moments to give you a glance of village life. Thank you for reading the story and encouraging…the next post on Kolkata will definitely bring some old memories to many of you, including those who still haven’t visited the city.
…to be continued