The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

There are times when one is transported back in time and suddenly memories from the past start engulfing you. You start recalling events which are never going to come back, but are probably forever embedded in your subconscience.

دل میں ایک درد اُٹھا اٰنکھوں میں اٰنسُو اٰئے

بیٹھے بیٹھے ھمیں کیا جانیئے کیا یاد اٰیا

[dil me ek dard uttha, aankhon me aansu aaye

baitthey baitthey hamein kya jaaniye kya yaad aaya!]

Sometimes these personal memories are trivial and their coming back surprises you as well, not only by their return but also their triviality and a realisation that regretably they now only survive in your dream.

As the winter chill gives way to spring and cool breeze try to beat the growing heat of the scorching sunrays, I am reminded of sleeping in an open courtyard (sahn) on cots woven tight by jute strings – charpai – covered over with spotless white bedsheats (chāndni), sparkling in the light glowing moonlight cooled by the light blowing summer breeze.

The effect of the cool breeze and the moonlight engulfing you from all the sides, is something to be experienced and can never be explained in words: it would have a calming effect on your tired nerves!

The charpai with its covering of a ‘durrie’ – a thin cotton bed-size spread, and the “chandni’ were in fact quite comfortable, the tight coir knit of the charpai providing the ‘spring’. The only issue was that the charpoi had to be “tightened” at least once a week to provide that spring; a loose charpoi, on the other hand, would result in your aching back!

Today we have neither the vast courtyards nor the charpais, nor the chāndni! They are all things of the past. Their absence has enslaved us to “doublebeds”, kingsize or queen size, and the AC’s, split or window or cube. My children do not even know how to enjoy an open star filled moonlit bathed fresh air sleep.

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