Sunday, August 5, 2007


Amidst the crude smell of wet soil and smoke billowing lazily out of the roof-top chimney, amidst the familiar sound of cow-bells and the aroma of ripe mangoes lingering persistently, amidst the longing to be there once again and catch the glimpse of welcoming eyes, waiting anxiously, I arrived at my grandma’s place.

Every time the Sun God lashed out His excoriating heat, it was cooled down by the pleasant salutations of everyone at my grannie’s place and our stay confirmed the furtherance of this cooling down, making our sojourn a riot of laughter and merriment. Summer vacations were a refreshing beak from school-study-report card hassles and we (Me, Sonia and my cousins) painted the town…. red? Nopes…we painted it polka-dotted!

But the main attraction remained that locked room; the room, which invited a world of speculation and mystery. We requested and sometimes, even threw childish tantrums including foot-pounding and crying, but our granny wasn’t impressed. She remained reluctant to spell out the magical words..”khul ja sim sim…” to open the door . Well, the door had quite obviously become THE DOOR for the kids of the house.

But after many years, when the closed room almost became a casual presence of mystery unresolved, we stopped to query about it.

One summer holy holiday made our granny to grant us the maturity badge and she herself called us to see what we’ve waited for since years. The room opened its door to a sparkling past. Our hungry eyes locked with the shimmering treasure the room protected since so many years. The way our jaw dropped after seeing this khazana, could have put even Alibaba and the challis chor to shame. No there wasn’t any gold or silver, but something even more precious.

As nani opened a huge metal trunk, which seemed like one belonging to Mohenjo-Daro-Harappa culture, we held back our eyelashes from fluttering. The suspense ended and excitement took its toll. The trunk was filled with a swarm of colorful, handmade earthenware – flower pots, statues of different Gods, matkis with attractive paintings on them, diyas, different animal statues, there were ghagra-polka with beautiful embroidery & zari work, scarves, shawls along with paint brushes, colors wrapped in small polythene bags, salma-sitare, chimki of lustrous base metals…all made and collected by my grandma..

That day I remember, we forgot having our lunch, dinner and even hitting the sack..we were completely disoriented for the rest of the day and were awed by our granny’s khazana and her creativity..

Then we learned why nani was reluctant to open the door for us. She valued these belongings more than silver or gold. And back then, the treasure was vulnerable to the attacks of kid ninjas that we were. But now we understood and valued it. Now, for us, this treasure of nani was more than Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine. We loved it.

I miss the room, the old trunk and more than anything else, my nanihaal. Things have changed and I wish I could go there once again with the same feelings.


Unknown said...

your description was so live that I felt her presence in my room.

It reminded me my childhood.I was not that fortunate to even see my grandma or nani being youngest in family.But then I was told by mother that nani had many prayers for me as I was unable to speak upto three yrs of my age.Even physician declared that it is gone case.But then it was due to Nani's visits to temples, irrespective of her unability to walk, praying for my voice and God answered to her prayers.She could hear my voice before she left us.I was too small to recollect her presence.

Fortunates are those who are enjoying blessings of their grand parents from both sides.They are living angels on earth and your real well wishers.

Respect them and take as much blessings as you can!It will lead to successful life.
I have experienced their blessing though I have not seen them.

Rahulbhatol said...

love this!:-))))

It's really those sweet n golden time when we spend our pre-teen ages with our granies....really realte wid ur post...

BTWN, cannt u send me a mail? i wud,but in ur prof. there's no mail id :-((((

~S n E h A~ said...

u can find my e-mail id in my profile..


Sonia said...

this is indeed one of the best piece of writing frm u so well put!

it refreshed many of the good old often tells me the way u used to call naniji as "aaji-bai"..with your broken-teeth-childhood smile! haha..i will always cherish those wonderful vacations in nanihaal...nani's hidden khazanas..and nani's virtual khazanas as well - her words of wisdom!