Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mahalaya

It was Mahalaya yesterday. Had my parents not been visiting, I would have never known. Since they wanted to listen to the Chandi Path, I looked for the Birendra Krishna Bhadra recording we always heard back home on All India Radio, on YouTube. The familiar music from childhood nearly brought me to tears. It is associated with many happy memories of simpler more innocent times. The future (and adulthood) was a distant place and could be re-imagined endlessly.

The life I have today was certainly not something I had planned or wished for. While there is much that I am grateful for, there is much I wish would be different. The future is much harder to see or imagine than it was in those long ago days. The music made me long for the home I don't really have, a time that will never come back and memories that no longer have a place to live.

The town that I grew up in does not resemble how I remember it, the familiar landmarks have been obliterated, friends have scattered around the world. There is no one or nothing to return to - nostalgia needs the medium of familiar things to remain potent. That medium has all but evaporated for me. Yet the sound from the dawn of Mahalayas past returned to me in unexpectedly generous measure vignettes from childhood - a bounty I was completely unprepared for.

1 comment:

Priyamvada_K said...

HC,
I SO hear you. Gosh, I too long for the innocence of childhood years. The familiar landmarks that aren't there anymore. Places and feelings, and some people who are now no longer there.

Priya.