Thursday, April 26, 2007

Backdoor of C-80


It opens to the backyard of the house where I grew up, but everytime I used to open it, it opened up a whole new fragmented world of mine. I remember being standing by it after I lost my nth water flask in school, although nothing much have changed till today itself, I like this whole notion of cuddling up memories behind that backdoor.

In the clustered, compartmentalized and symmetrical houses we used to live, thanks to OIL INDIA LIMITED c-type quarters, every backdoor was just the same in around 300 houses around me. I could see the backyard of my next line of c-type quarters from my backdoor. so, it opens up to a common backyard which was around 20-25 feet apart, what lies in between is the world I am talking about.

Ducks 'quack quack' ing and galloping with their young loved ones behind them, toddling towards the lonesome pool of muddy water thanks to the incessant daily tropical rains in Assam. If people were not careful in my place, we would have had the best rain forest surpassing Amazon. Thanks to OIL’s regular cleaning up of our backyard, probably I never wanted the Duck to turn into an endangered species lost in the rain forest. Now, from Ducks to home breed local hens which use to fly marvelously when chased around. You have no control on their promiscuous behavior, and no control over where they shall decide to lay eggs. At times, I remember my Dad used to go out with a torch in late evenings with my Mom worried leaning over our backdoor waiting for one of our super cool dude of a rooster to come home. She sighs "Where can he be? Helping the neighbors chicken to lay eggs, that lousy rooster, I think we can eat him for lunch tomorrow (sigh!!)."

So, there we are, my two brothers gasping in horror behind me, I holding the stretched skin on the neck of the helpless roosters and my Dad whispers a 'sura' from the Quran, and the life of the roosters escapes to the almighty, until he struggles to let go of it. Another sad end of a cool dude of a rooster, the neighboring chickens will lose a string of cool 'DNA' for ever I guess.

A dirty multi layered nala (sewage) used to overflow right behind the backdoor, during the continuous rains in summers, when Mom makes pakora and chai, which I am still crazy about. I enjoy the sight outside my house, water filling up every flower pots of my Mom's dream and pricey owned garden of our C-80 quarter. The backyard is then the neglected door of our house, because if you attempt to open the backdoor, water used to flush in and spoil my Mom carefully crafted dinning room. So, no opening the backdoor during those downpours. I still used to do that, to just feel the excitement of the water flushing in and leaving its marks, its like playing a distorted guitar peace, when your partner is sleeping while driving on the long road in serene suicidal Dubai roads.

Truly the ‘backdoor’, I can’t stop talking about. It opens you up to a these whole new possibilities for fractured memories knocking on your door of nostalgia. All you need to do, open your backdoor and let them in for the moment, to bask the glory of degenerated present living, where new memories shun you for being you in this tattered piece of the world which is left, where you live miles away from home where all the memories lie, and you seek to make new memories without them.


Anonymous said...

Wow..that was a beautiful piece of writing that took my thoughts too back to a long long time ago...My grandparents's home in Chennai that meant "India" to me n my little bro...I remember once, we had gone to Delhi and my little bro asked my mom very inncontly, "Amma, When are we going to India?"...

The most distinct part of the whole house was the 'kollapakkam' or the backyard. There was my favourite spot over there - the washing stone. Back in Chennai, there is this huge granite which is used as a slab for washing clothes. My bhaiya used to make me sit on top of that and me and my cousins used to spend hours together sitting and listening to stories told to us by out granny and grandpa.

Amidst all this, my mom and aunts used to make pakodas and papads in the kitchen - this kitchen directly overlooked the backyard and had a huge window that overlooked it...We used to get immense joy in getting our plates form the kitchen and running all the way back to the backyard and standing next to the window just in time to squeeze the pakodas and papads through the tiny holes in the grill...

During the mango season time, we used to find all the little raw mangoes and amlas that fell from the tree and collect them to have at night- as our moms never allowed us to eat it since we would end up with a sore throught! There was also yummy amla to be collected...I remember, I had a bad habit of eating mud from the ground- it was then that my grandpa cememted the entire backyard!He had also shown me some earth worms and told me that children who ate mud became worms like that!

The added attraction of the backyard was that, there was this old shed which had all the old stuff that we never used any more. There was this old bullet bike that my dad used to use much before i was born out there..Me and my naughty little cousins used to act like we were really riding it - that too, 4 of us together!

Hmm...Those days and our backyard...loads of memories, the first time that i learnt to drive a cycle and tried to drive it on a sand pile and fell...The hide and seek games with all my cousins (all of us were within the age group 3 to 14)...I love those days...

Now, after my grandpa breathed his last, our house "Sumukham" as it was called, doesnt even exist anymore!They sold it to some contractors...sheesh man...i wish i could save all my memories together with MY SUMUKHAM...


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