The city the village and Us
There is no speed limit to the growth of our time or to the roads of Saidwal, a small village in Punjab. The journey was tiresome and I lost my back to the cracks on the road which lie as the broken promises of the previous politician and the ticket to the next one.
My granny held my hand and as we walked around this town which even Google didn’t register. I reconciled with her as the sun was piercing our bodies and I was toiling to keep my white shirt white. The air was dusty, there were no road or no traffic lights, animals and humans sat under the same shade, people walked carelessly, kids kept playing in the mud. The temple was kept cleaner than the hospital and in the school the broken blackboard had turned white with the chalk residue. There walls were filled with student graffiti and only one bench was kept for the teacher.
Before much I do, a pass-byre stopped by as though he’d seen a celebrity. He ran and touched my granny’s feet, out of respect. My granny rose to the occasion and smiled as if she had graduated first in her class. Some people gathered and looked at me with wide smiles, shook hands and offered respect. This unknown province now reflected a sense of familiarity. The heat was still there and I was sweating profusely but my senses had dissipated over looking this overwhelming situation.
I was walked into a small house. The walls were cracked and every corner was marked by a spider’s web, as if they were kept as pets. On left corner was the kitchen where the food was being cooked using cow dung and behind that the women of the house were washing their utensils and clothes under the same flow. There were no architects there yet the rooms could were cool.
My granny stood next to this small plant which was situated right in the middle of the house, where the sun rays settled. A tear dropped my granny’s face, as she saw the name of my grandfather still minted on the slab. She held my hand tighter and then turned towards me, this was our house. Your mom was born here, pointing towards an area which had turned into a store room. The cracks on the walls are from the partition, which still hadn’t fused.
The city lights have over shadowed the past but this is where we belong. The new owner who was not even the part of our family tree had maintained the plant to reminisce my grandfather, who fought the war. The owner asked his wife to offer us some fruits, she whispered back to him. That year the season was dry for the farmers, yet they offered whatever they had, their plates were empty yet they fed us. They were called villagers but they were more human than the one under the city light.
Their faces were getting dark as the rays started to scatter and in that scattered dust laid my scattered past. We left an envelope to which he might have smiled and had a better night than day.
by ;- karanbir Singh