|Our home for 19 years|
For 22 years of my life, I had called Jorhat my home town. And for 19 years out of that 22, a house was our home.
Deta (my father) served Assam Agricultural University his entire job life and the last 22 years of that he was posted in Jorhat. He had also been educated in the same university. On the other hand, my maternal grandfather (Koka) was also educated and served the same fraternity. So Ma and her brothers also grew up in the university campuses in different towns.
We arrived in Jorhat in the year 1990 when my younger sister and myself were just kinder-garden students. We moved into the quarter we would call home for the next 19 years in August, 1993. Interestingly, Ma had also resided in the adjoining quarter as a child when Koka was posted in Jorhat. So you can imagine how old the quarters were. The house was one of the fives quarters amid students' hostels. It was an Assam-type house with three bedrooms, two washrooms, one living room, one dining room, a kitchen, a puja ghar and a store room. We had a front yard as well as a backyard and also verandas both in the front and back. The kitchen and the puja ghar were around 10 steps from the main house connected by a veranda. There were several trees in the house compound and kept us well shaded. There was a fishery pond in front of our house. There were three houses on our side and two on the other side of the pond. There was also a pond on our right side.
|The path leading to our home|
This was the house, my sister and I were allotted a room of our own and allowed to decorate how we wanted it. How excited we were! This was the house we got our first puppy, learned to ride a bicycle and years later learned to drive a car. In this house we had three dogs, two cats, two parrots and several fishes for pets. It was here, we got our first barbie dolls, learned new games, learned to knit in lazy winter sun and enjoyed the juicy mangoes in warm summer afternoons. In this house , we sisters turned into gawky teenagers and enemies. And in this house we rediscovered our love as adults.
|A rain lily in bloom|
All seasons seemed charming in our home. In the spring, I would collect the golden gulmohor flowers strewn on the green lawn and collect the bright red seeds when the time came. In cool summer nights, I would fall asleep watching the pond water reflections on the wall and with moonlight on my face. And summer days would be noisy with squawking parrots. In monsoons, I would sit on the front porch steps to enjoy the cool wind, as I watched the tree leaves turn bright green against the grey sky just before the rain lashed out. And then all the sleeping rain lilies would spurt out in pretty colours--pink, yellow and white. Autumn nights would be scented by the night jasmine while winter sun would be followed from the back to the front yard with a book.
|Night jasmine (sewali)|
In this house, I completed my schooling and went to college. It was here that I loved and hated my parents. It was here that I learned their value. It was here I realized how lucky I have been. It was here I told them that I was in love. It was here that I actually grew up.
The house witnessed the lives of its inhabitants entwined together, watched us grow older and wiser. It became our battlefield as well as refuge. It became our catalyst as well as our solace. It basked in our rise and comforted when we fell. It is said, "Home is where the heart is", and this house has definitely captured our hearts forever.
Deta retired last year from service last year and my parents moved to his native place. And with that we have lost our true home.