Sunday, 11 March 2012

Rustic Roots

Mumbai's Girgaum Chowpatty - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Being brought up in urban India has its advantages and disadvantages. The seven cities I have lived in are like the seven swaras (notes) of sargam.(solfege). Urban spirit may have uprooted me from my rustic roots but my heart still yearns for a simple, happy life. I love looking at the vast sea, listening to the waves splashing against the shore. In a city which never sleeps, it is difficult to find people who can truly enjoy nature's abundance. Every one around me is rushing against the chronograph of time. A poem I read in school, perfectly describes the present state of modern life  -
Reflecting upon the beauty of nature - Anukriti Sharma Photography
"I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man." - William Wordsworth
Nature's essence - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Going out for a morning walk is a wonderful way to connect to the world around you . The half-asleep city dwellers, somehow manage to wake up to fitness and life in the early hours of dawn. Nature's bounty surrounds the area... Cool breeze tickles the leaves as they giggle merrily.
I travel through macadamized cobblestone pathways, to reach the mesmerizing Hanging Gardens. Young and old people climb up the stairs chattering in every possible language - Gujarati, English, Marathi, Hindi, Hinglish, and also gibberish. After an hour of brisk-walking I sit down on one of the benches beside an extremely cute old lady. Her grand-daughter, who is dressed in a baby pink track suit, comes hopping and escorts her granny towards the senior-citizen park. This little gesture of love reminds me of my own childhood and my dear Dadi(paternal grandmother).
Parrots - the view from my window, Mumbai - Anukriti Sharma Photography
Dadi's stories are still fresh in my mind. Even now I remember the sing-song way in which she used to narrate folktales in Bhojpuri to me and my sister while we used to lie snuggled in her arms. One of these tales was about a tiny bird bereaved of her little morsel of food which gets trapped in a grinding machine. Lamenting her miserable condition she asks everyone to help her out. She says that if she fails to get that morsel, what would she eat and drink? And also how would she fly overseas without food for her little ones? This is how the lines go -
"Badhai Badhai Khoota cheera
Khoota mein mor daal baa....
Kaa khayin, kaa pihin?
Kaa leke pardes jaayin?"
Rustic Roots, Bihar - Anukriti Sharma Photography
The sheer love in each of my grandma's tales was also present in the delicious pickles she made for us. Birds, tress, clouds and flowers became my friends... Through her figments I visited Bihar's unknown landscapes - smiling at every flower that bloomed there. Through her I felt attached to the land of my ancestors - I could imagine birds singing in delight, ripe mangoes bursting with ambrosial nectar. Her stories of farmlands and the crops that grew in the countryside kept me mesmerized, as I longed for more and more.
On a sunny afternoon in Bihar - Lalit Sharma Photography
Every afternoon she used to sit in the sun, telling us tales of my father's childhood - how his hard work and perseverance got him though civil services. My late grandfather lived for me through her narrative. The fact that I had not ever seen him never occurred to me, as he always seemed to be alive in her stories. The hard-times she faced, occasionally made me sad; but she quickly changed the topic to something fascinating. Her eyes twinkled with happiness whenever she saw me. She told us parables of our village in Aami and how ghosts and pandubis (water spirits) resided in Gangaji(Ganges). She would add spice to these fables by adding personal anecdotes and we would remain enchanted for hours! I remember how fondly she used to call me "Chotu" and how much I used to hate the name! Sitting in her lap I used to talk to her endlessly while she juggled the rosary beads in her hand. She spoke in Bhojpuri while I spoke in Hindi. Even though our languages were different, love connected us.
Me with my Dadi
Fourteen years have passed since she left us all. 6th March, 1998 is still fresh in my memory even though I was only ten when she died. Mitch Albom was right when he said, "Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

Childhood may have different connotations for different poeple, but for me it was the best time of my life. All my experiences have been not just 100% real but also 100% gratifying. Here's a little video composed, narrated and created by me to describe my 100% real experiences as a child. In a poetic manner(a poem written by me) it takes you through my memorable childhood memories(photographs).

Here are the verses for reference -

Childhood's 100% Real Experiences
100% Real experiences aaj bhi jeena chahte hain hum sab...
Magar woh bachpan ke dinon ka mazza hi kahan hai ab?

Bachpan ki baatein aaj bhi jab yaad aati hain...
Khushiyon ki saugaat ghar le aati hain.

Un dinon bas khilone hi the jo tootaa karte the...
Kyunki bhai-behnon se bhi hum bade pyaar se ladate the!

Ruthte bhi the, to turant maan bhi jaate the...
Aansu bhi chehre pe aane se pehle hi tham jaate the.

Melody, Poppins aur Lollipop se tha humein pyaar
Chupa ke rakhte the jeb mein na jaane kitne Kismi Bar!

Naani ki baton mein tha kahaniyon ka basera...
Jis ne tha hum sabke nanhe dilon ko ghera!

Das rupaye ki pocket money bhi lagti thi apaar...
Aaj kal to kam padta hai chahe jeb mein ho das hazaar!

Tinkle, Champak aur Chandamama ke saath samay beet jaata...
Mann khush ho jaata tha jab ghar pe mehmaan koi aata!

Humari choti si duniya mein na tha internet, na mobile phone!
Na aate the email ya sms, na bajta tha koi ringtone!

McDonald’s, Pizza Hut aur KFC ka kuch pataa hi nahin tha...
kyunki Us samay to Mummy ke haath ka bana khaana hi sabse sahi tha

Chidiya, Titli, Ped, Paudhe se thi gehri dosti humari
Aaj inke liye waqt kahan, hum sabki ab badh gayi hain zimmedaari!

Daadi ke haath ka bana swaadisht 'ol' ka achaar
Jisko khane ke liye mann lalchaata tha baar baar.

Aaj kapdon ke dher almaari mein pade pade ho jaate hain bekaar
Woh din aur the jab naye kapdon ke liye hota tha Durga Puja ka intezaar

Itne brands hain ki samajh nahin pate kaun hai behtar!
Sardiyon mein to sabse accha lagta tha mausi ke hath ka buna sweater.

Papa ke kandhon pe baithkar dekhte the duniya
aur Mummy ke aanchal samet li thi saari khushiyaan

Vacations mein ghar-walon ke saath tour pe jaana
Aur padhne se bachne ke liye dhundhna har roz naya bahana

Baarish mein bheegna, naachna aur gaana
Fir bimaar padne par sab se daant khana

Dadaji-Nanaji ke saath din-raat baatein karte the,
Aur bhoot ki kahaniyan sunkar sone se bhi darte the

Chacha Choudhary, Billu aur Pinky se thi aisi yaari...
Ke unki kahaniyaan mil baith ke padhte the hum baari baari.

Holi ke rangon mein ghul mil jaate the sab
Jis tyohaar ko khelna bhi nahin chahte hain hum ab!

Cycle hi to thi apni evergreen sawaari
Aaj mazza kahan hai vaisa chahe ho khud ke paas Ferrari?

Pedon se kaise fal churake khaya karte the hum..
Soch soch ke ab aankhein ho jaati hain nam...

100% Real experiences aaj bhi jeena chahte hain hum sab,
Magar woh bachpan ke dinon ka mazza hi kahan hai ab?
                                                                     ~ Anukriti Sharma

This post has been written for Indiblogger's "The Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest" - Tell us about the 100% real experiences you had growing up". To participate or know more, click on the picture below:

You can see my post and vote for it here:
IndiBlogger - The Largest Indian Blogger Community

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51 comments/suggestions:

Kajal said...

Abs Brilliant. Beautifylly written.
Glad to have found you at Indiblogger. your newest follower and a regular visitor now

Chetan Shetty said...

What a beautiful first pic? Can I download and share it on FB?

Please let me know.Of course, due courtesy would be given to the pic!

Keyur700 said...

Your blog deserves huge applause! It's a wonderful mixture of photography and poetry.

And your photographs are no short of brilliant. I have become an admirer of your blog. Keep up the great work.


Keyur :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

Thanks a ton dear for liking and appreciating my work! Means a lot... you made my day! I have gone through your blog too and love it! Thank you for following... I hope you like it here :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Chetan Shetty
Of course you can! Thanks for your appreciation! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

Thank you sooo much for the appreciation and encouragement! Your comment made my day! :)

Rahul Koundal said...

Wow !! What a stunning post it is. Loved each and every bit of it

Nitin Chauhan said...

Oh wow!! I don't know why but I really felt happy while reading this narration of your beautiful experiences with your Dadi. And beside that you gave me such a charming perspective of Bihar, in my mind. Let me say thank you for writing so well, Anukriti.


P.S. Do update me about yourself on facebook. Quite a while has it been since I heard form you, Anukriti.

magiceye said...


RoHiT Iyer said...

wonderfully woven from strands of memories. keep 'em coming!


Anonymous said...

Anukriti, this is such a sweet post strewn with innocence of childhood! Best wishes for the contest:)

A Homemaker's Utopia said...

The first pic is awesome..Nice to meet a girl full of life..:-)

Anonymous said...

beautifully written
loved the post

Sudhagee said...

Yes, death ends a life but not a relationship. My nani passed away 32 years back and it seems like yesterday that she played or told me stories.

Very nice post, Anukriti. All the best for the contest

Janak Kumar Yadav said...

Well penned..Sahar ki dhup aur Gaon ki chaon ko yaad dila dia tumne...

Anonymous said...

What a lovely and heartfelt post. Thank you for sharing this piece of life in India. Beautiful pictures too!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anukriti, I have nominated you for the Sunshine award, because your blog inspires me. Please visit to take your award. Congo! :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Rahul Koundal

Thanks a lot Rahul!

Anukriti Sharma said...

Hey hi! how are you? Glad to hear from you... Where have you been... Will surely catch up with you on Facebook :)

Thank you for such a beautiful comment... you really made my day! :) I am glad you liked my perspective.

Anukriti Sharma said...

Thanks a ton! :)

@Rohit Iyer
Thank your for such a beautiful comment :)

Thank you for your best wishes :) I am overwhelmed to see such a warm and wonderful comment :)

Anukriti Sharma said...

@A Homemaker's Utopia
Thanks a lot dear :) Nice to meet a beautiful person like you! :)

@Chirag Joshi
Thank you very much :)

shooting star said...

a beautiful walk down memory lane...nice read!!

CYNOSURE said...

A beautiful Post...and some awesome pics accompanying it... :)

Shoppingaholic said...

OMG, badhai badhai khoota cheera... is the one which i grew up listening to and many other stories. Your story is just like mine. My dadi is still here with us, though very old. I dread losing her...and those days, the hug I still give her and she gives me is one of the most cherished moments of my life. I am 28 years old and married, and my dadi still pats me to sleep by singing: door re gaiya door, pani dhatoor, hamre bachchi k hathwa me beiliya ka fool!! she brings her fingers together and touches my lips like she wants to steal a kiss from me. Glad I read your post!! <3

captainjohann said...

Well I like to have a grand daughter like you.God bless your dadi.

Anonymous said...

This is sucha wow post.I hope you get what you deserve.
I had read your blog earlier too Anukriti.

you are a blessed story teller. :D

buzzzzzzzzz... said...

loved the video!!! gr8 work with the pictures too.

Ashish said...

well captured Mood Nostalgia..

roses said...

Really touching blog...

Jayanth said...

ah nostalgia! nice one!

Obsessivemom said...

That was beautiful.. your grandmom so reminded me of mine.. that cotton sari and the seedha palla over the head. They're really all the same, isn't it? And what 'chotu' was to you 'baby' was to me :-).

Viya said...

Great writing and gr8 pics too:) Do visit my food blog
I am following your blog:)

Someone is Special said...

As usual brilliant photographs and poems.. glad you quoted William Wordsworth's poem.. Loved it totally..

Someone is Special

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar said...

Lovely post Anukriti! I particularly enjoyed the picture of the parrots - the vivid green against the brown bramble seems like a metaphor for city life.


travelsaroundthe world said...

Here for the first time..lovely blog..poetic and sentimental..

Vetrimagal said...

Straight from the heart, a thoroughly enjoyable piece. Made me think of my own rustic villages, in younger days.

A narrations of your family, Bihar, all make it a personal experience.

All the best.

Anukriti Sharma said...

Thank you dear :) Memories never fade... Good to know that you still feel close to your grandma... Grandparents are God's best gift to grandchildren... :)

@Janak Kumar Yadav
Thank you :) beautiful line - sheher ki dhoop, gaon ki chaaon :)

@Anonymous - 12/03/2012
Thank you dear :) What a beautiful comment! Made my day!

Anukriti Sharma said...

@Sudeshana Das
Thank you for the Sunshine award my little miss sunshine! :)

r_Phoenix said...

Great piece of text here. :) Thank you for the words. It helped me recollect the time i spent with my granny when i was also so much interested in the stories and narrations. :) the images add flavour too... ;)

Rakesh said...

Badhai Badhai Khoota cheera
Khoota mein mor daal baa....
Kaa khayin, kaa pihin?
Kaa leke pardes jaayin?"

These lines I have forgotten long back, brought back memories of those days when life was so simple.

Keep writing...

TheKeyBunch said...

brilliant pics!

Maun Vision said...

Excellent memoirs

Anuradha Khanna Pentapalli said...

Tinkle, champak and chacha choudhary... Those were the days.... Loved the poem!

Anonymous said...

Simply superb………..marvelous….

Madhur said...

LOved the poem....loved it so much that..will be featuring it on Radio and youtube this wednesday ;)
Do look out for it

Lubna said...

You have a beautiful eye catching blog. Since Ruskin Bond is one of my favourite authors and you quote him often, it is an added attraction to visit you again in your blog-home. It is amazing isn't it, how parrots have survived in this concrete jungle of ours? Alas, sparrows have almost gone.

Princess Poo said...

Hello to my favorite blogger :D :). I have a small award for you :D :).

Murali Krishnan said...

True, we are caught up in the urban jungle and forgot to enjoy the small pleasures of life.

Hemant said...

Nice one....gr88 snaps with the glimpse of different places...

ChatoreDiaries said...

Lovely photographs. I loved the way the pictures and prose weave through.

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