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It's Nostalgia!

- By Paramita Muller Lahiri, 05 March 2021 | 7 MIN READ


Why one’s hometown & place of birth?

Nostalgia: an enchantress that casts a spell.

A lullaby that lulls you to a gentle slumber.

Dozing in a dream where the inner vision takes a serpentine walk over mud tracks, asphalt roads, dilapidated houses, meadows & streams. Shabbiness, flakes peeling off wall surfaces, damp moss & fungus creeping into wood panels turn into mosaic patterns of illuminate brightness as we step back in time and enter the gate where Nostalgia is carved, engraved in bold letters.

Castles in the air, turrets & domes built in shifting sands that tumble as the waves sweep over.

Standing alone on a hilltop with barren stretches far & wide.

Trees felled, thorny shrubs & few stones where once in ancient days stood giant sized rounded boulders.

Nostalgia is a yearning of the past, a romantic craving of an idealized picture of the world where one wishes to dwell upon as it was in our memory. Nostalgia takes us on a journey to a past in the wings of fantasy. It is a seduction that makes one retreat into a glorified past where the rose is sweeter, more fragrant than anywhere else. The grass lush green, soft, meadows full of wild flowers where the bees do not sting and butterfly’s flit about swaying with the breeze that is gentle and mild. The sky brighter, the streams purer and the clouds a messenger of something divine.

No where else is the air so pure, so good as in our home town.

A paradise on earth painted in pastel strokes of soft hues.

Mostly memories of childhood, of youth where the burden of existential worries are left to grown-ups. A fairytale world of gnomes, pixies, fairies with an occasional appearance of a “bad step mother” or a “witch” that any way is crushed, eliminated or rather won over. Victory of the good over the bad.

Mind of the child does not grasp the shades of grey, the in-between.

Specially during period of transition & change nostalgia is an important feature of existence where one carves out a niche to cope up with the mundane in other words reality as it is. Makes one retreat into a romanticized past. To draw a veil over what is and view the world through rosy tinted glasses. A lucid, translucent world where the alleys of the city become a fairy tale landscape. The dirty lanes, stinking garbage, plastic bags flying about, willy-nilly as the chilly wind sweeps over the streets congested with human bodies, stray dogs & crows become a pictorial nightmare which does not exist for the nostalgia prone viewer.

One chooses to see what one wants to see. Selective choice of seeing.

One feels what one chooses to feel.

Feeling is subjective.

The heart throbs echo what the mind has opted.

Nostalgia springs often from a sense of alienation in the present.

A loss, an irreversible moment caught in time that cannot be retraced in real existence but only in the realms of the mind. The mind that chooses & picks, picks & chooses. In a dream landscape. Survival.

Here creative energy begins to dominate & create a world where wishful thinking over rules.

Remembering, recalling, in retrospective are words resounding drumming in our minds as the situation & current day reality tightens, darkens, as the fumes of cars, buses blackens the trees & streets. The traffic jams, crowds of people jostling & elbowing their way through. Without any form of courtesy like in most cities.

Indifferent callous.


Turning a blind eye to the beggar with one leg shivering in cold.

Stray dogs chased as they seek warm spots.


Street kids rummaging amidst left overs that some careless person has dumped on a side street.

Delicious tit- bits to still the growling hunger.

The few bins are spilling over.

A homeless man searching.

Finds a pair of torn boots that will see him over the winter.

Unwanted, scraps of human beings.

Go fly, fly away.

We begin to talk of the good old days

When …


The people are congenial, friendlier than any where else.

The children happy, playing harmoniously with one another.

The mist and the fog rising from the cleavage of blue hills.

Kites flying high, higher competing with clouds, fleecy, white cotton wool, grey blankets before rain fall upon the parched earth.

Memories take us to the fireplace, crackling sound of sparks.

Cinders bright orange.

Humming of bees as drips of golden honey cascade and sweetens.

A retreat into the past labyrinths of a journey backwards.

We forget the loud honks of cars rushing forward.

The hurry and scurry of modern life.

Lost, reminiscing about those good days where gossip & tales, ghost stories fictive & imaginative are shared with family & friends; all gathering around the fire place.

When the rain poured pitter patter, beating rhythms on tin roofs, seeping through cracked ceilings, through cracks on window panes nostalgia was rudely interrupted. The darkened melancholy sky, streaks of lightening and sounds of thunder beating like war drums become a melodious raga created by the magic wand of the seductive enchantress named nostalgia.

When the city stood still in gloomy silence bound by curfews and bands the beautiful enchantress fled.

Leaving us with our dreams of a glorified past.

The tall pines. Pinus Khasias.

The red rhododendrons, wild white azaleas.

The new frills of the hills seeped in slowly

The wattle or acacia, powder puffs of yellow

Then the jacaranda, lilac and purple.

Now the cherry trees, medley & shades of pink.

Times are a changing.




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