ambipur

Mitti ki khushbu

3:17 PM

“I’ll be there in an hour mom  " I said into my iphone5 in English before I switched to Hindi.  "Iam on my way in a Taxi"
“Damn did I just loose signal?" .
Looking around from the car window I stared into long stretches of greens beautifully mingled with yellow patterns… sarson ke khet 
"Tire puncture"  announced the driver.
I was here just for 3 days, had returned to India to sell the  3 acres of ancestral farm land I owned and take mom back with me to UAE. Though it was nothing less than a mission to convince mom to accompany me to UAE, I had already decided I wouldn’t take NO for an answer and if it required blackmailing of emotional kind I would do it !
While the driver got to work fixing the spare, I got out out of the car and stepped on the kacha road getting a clearer view of mustard fields, as a whiff of mustard hit my olfactory . Huge fields with vast green expanses weren't alien to me. I was reminded of those long summer vacations I spent in my nani’s village amidst ganne ke khet stealing sugarcane, running around sarson ke khet with chiffon dupattas flying singing “hawa mein udta jaye mera laal dupatta mal mal ka” and monkeying around mango trees to pluck raw mangoes.
The peace and calmness of the moment hit me, it was almost uncomfortable, maybe I had too much in the city to bear this silence...  this fragrance of homely peace.
UAE I told myself  was a symbol for velocity, Dubai the busy city reflected that time didn't wait for anyone, it kept on moving. You had to move along with it, keep pace with it. But lucknow wasn’t far behind I noticed, like any other city, it kept on moving and evolving every day. But I felt out of place here ever since I had stepped foot in this city. The sense of misplacement troubled me. They say you are connected to the place of your birth, but I felt out of sorts. What had changed? Was it the city ? or was it me?
It had been 4 years since I had shifted to UAE, but I had been born and brought up here in lucknow. Took my first steps here, received education , made my first friends here, stepped into those adolescent years , got my first job and then that big offer letter from UAE all here. And then after flying to UAE to pursue my dreams the connect between me and this city was broken.
Cool fresh air made contact with my skin and to my annoyance rain began to make an appearance, I got into the car as I inhaled a wave of breeze mingled with the sweet, fresh, powerfully evocative smell of the geeli mitti bringing back memories as I tried to find the missing closeness I once felt for this city
Memories of those carefree days, Days when Rain used to be fun, when first drops of rain hit barren earth giving birth to the mitti ki sondhi sondhi khushboo, when we used to block water in terrace of house and float paper boats with real alive ants as passengers…

Building of sand castles with cousins from the sand brought in for house renovation
Those nakhras for going to school daily, returning from school after a rainy day to do cham cham in puddles, saving of shards of wood from sharpened pencil, peacock feathers and pressed roses in books.
Playing rain football with friends in fields full of khichad, surely Surf Excel couldn’t be wrong –“daag ache hain”
As the rain stopped the driver got back to working on the tire while I strolled to the the corner tea stall to get myself a energizing cup of tea.. As the waiter (or should I call him the chai wala boy) poured steaming hot ginger tea from a large metal kettle into a disposable cup, I caught on to whiff of an old, familiar adrak tea, I drifted down to memory lane recounting all the times I’ve enjoyed it.
The moments spent with college friends at sharmaji's tea stall (the tea vending at canteen was for some reason not so interesting for us hip lot).
The tea mingled with smell of rain smelled so good that I actually hung onto the cup for a while after it was empty, just to revisit my good old special days.
The warmth of tea brought with it a homely feeling. The feeling you get when your chai-o-holic mom forcefully drowns a cup of hot aromatic adrak wali chai when you have  a blacked nose. Ma ka pyar. Pure bliss.
I was startled of my reverie when  the song from a radio in the tea stall began to play

Yeh DauLat Bhi Le Lo
Yeh Shohrat Bhi Le Lo
Bhale Cheen Lo Mujse Meri Jawani
Magar Mujko Lauta Do
Bachpan Ka Sawan
Woh Kaghaz Ki Kashti
Woh Baarish Ka Paani...
And in that moment just like that I had decided I was not selling my ancestral land. It held a treasure of my childhood memories, was home to my near ones, the ones Who Captured my childhood, my laughter, the tears, the madness and everything in Between. I did not need the money, if not selling the land meant I will be visiting this place atleast once in a blue moon, Id do it.
After the tyre was fixed and the drive resumed amidst potholed puddle filled roads, I inhaled the smell of mother earth, which made my heart dance, setting my soul free as it began to pour again and this time  to my surprise the rain did not annoy me. It was true a lot had changed many concrete blocks had come up, roads were tarred, some flyovers were in construction. Everything has changed. The only thing that has remained unchanged was the aroma of soil which had the power to bring back those sweet childhood memories.I loved the essence as I put my head out of the window to feel the drops of rain on my face as I inhaled the heavenly fragrance of rain and mud in pure contentment. I miss my childhood. Those carefree, full of fun days...but I miss them most when it rains … but isnt that what life is all about...you get some you lose some..
Fiction. Fiction. Fiction
Iam no way settled in UAE or have any plans to go there !.
This post is written for Smelly to smiley contest by  Ambipur (link to their Facebook page ) on Indiblogger

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