My First Love ;)

Albert Einstein said “How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?

I add by saying “How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of sanity and wisdom so important a psychological phenomenon as first love?

Do you remember your first love?

I do – tenderly, fondly. Doesn’t matter if by my side or a quaint thought while I am lying awake in bed, Just a mention seems to immediately grip my imagination into painting some of the best memories we shared together. And so I know now that it is permanent part of my consciousness, my being.

Ah! My first love – My city, My home.

 

The moment I land at chandigarh airport, It starts to give me a great feeling -“Apna ilaaka” types feeling. And by the time I reach my city- Rajpura, my home; there is a list, ready in my mind, of how I am going to relive all the romantic chuckles.

Not that I love everything about the city, Infact there are innumerable things to which I react with a smirk or with laughter saying “Grow up people!!!”. But I know this the place where I feel rested while still enjoying a child-like muse.

# Let’s start by talking about the most entertaining beings – Aunties

Middle-aged women continue

to bitch about their relatives(-in-law of course), so a dope on all the action while I was gone keeps flowing little bit each day.

Guessing game is still the most popular and favorite. C’mon!!! don’t tell me you don’t know what this game is. Guessing game- guessing where the neighbor’s might have gone leaving a locked house on a Monday morning, guessing whose car is parked outside your cousin’s house, guessing who was the next door girl talking to on the street the other day, guessing if your neighbor’s electricity bill is more or less than yours and so on…

With the new & educated generation of the city, the aunties have found yet another debacle to occupy their heads-“Her kids earn more or less than mine”, “Whose kids got better education” and blah blah… In fact that is the ‘in’ way to prove your power or superiority.

But I think I’ll give it to them for this because their kids are these home-makers’ dearest earnings of life. And so these entertaining beings turn into most lovable when they are mothers.

And mine is a special case in point.

Like all mothers, my mother doesn’t like the taste of anything “which kids like” – fruits, dry-fruits, juices, ice-creams. No matter how abundantly it is there in home, it is meant only for her children.

Like all mothers, my mother always wants to only give and never take. Any penny I shell out from my wallet has to be replaced by at least double the amount from her wallet.

Like all mothers, my mother ardently believes marriage is central to life and has to happen at the right age and the onus of maintaining it lies more on the girls’ shoulder.

Like all mothers, my mother has a lap full of love and a secret box with never ending lessons for life no matter how old you are.

But unlike all mothers who teach their kids to wake up early or rather scold kids and force them to get up early, my mother makes sure there is not even a whiff to wake me up. The landline phone is put on hold, the doorbell is switched off. Whoever has urgent work, either wait or come straight inside her home but she will not let anyone disturb my priceless sleep. (No words to describe how much I love you maaa…)

# There is another breed in tough competition with aunties- their successors : the oldies

You cannot fathom their power by looking at the meek physical figure that your eyes see.

They remember every sin

gle day of your life, of your father’s life, of your father’s father life and of anyone they know or have heard of.

Their eyesight might be weak but if you are talking to guy, they can spot you a km’s distance.

They may not be able to walk properly but will walk all the way down the stairs and out on the road to someone’s house to meet some family obligation or tradition.

# The kids are the confused or maybe I should say evolving beings

They are struggling with the English which their mothers forcefully feed them with.

A conversation in point:

Kid: Mumma, paani chahiye

Mother: Kya chahiye? Kya sikhiya tha? Kya bolte hai paani ko?

Kid: water, water chahiye

Thank god, they haven’t moved to the level of teaching H2O😉

They are cranky when their mothers thrust them into the lap of the already overloaded bride so that the mother can get closer to bride amidst the crowd on stage. It’s because the photographer won’t miss the bride in the frame and thus the mother won’t be missed. The cranky shots of the kid anyways don’t steal the show.

The kids when they grow up a little are embarrassed looking at their childhood pictures where they wore a t-shirt under a backless top or red jeans with yellow tops. So not trusting the fashion sense of their mothers anymore they state what they want or better still they will shop for themselves- ultra low jeans, tommy belts, puma shoes, reebok watches.

# The roadside romeos are the creatures you can’t miss because they are omnipresent.

Their dialogues just keep getting cheesier- “There is so much beauty in Punjab”, “Sanu wi kade “Hi” bol liya karo” and my favorite “Uhnu kujh ni kehnda,Bhabhi hai teri

In fact, I have tried my bit at roadside romeogiri very recently when I teased a guy driving a royal enfield bike at the speed of a bullock cart in front of me and so I exclaimed “Bullt te ja riha hai Hero”. (The hero was dumb enough to sense my sarcasm and smiled blushingly.)

Oh! Did I mention the awesome lingo like bullt instead of bullet- the Punjabi accent and attitude overflows. Some exemplary ones are – Laeta for lighta or lights to be precise, tone for town, nioda for Noida.

Among the places to check out girls, the most famous is a busy crossroad called “Gaedi Route” (Gaedi means to roam around) of rajpura. That’s where these romeos check out chicks and chicks check out food.

Talking about food, I feel everyone loves their home city for their food because their taste buds have developed with this food.

And so I just love the Alloo Tikki here (which Mumbai has spoiled by calling it ragda pattice – lame name, isn’t it?)

We have our famous Veeru k samose, karmu k gol gappe…

But I truly believe my city food is class apart than other cities because it has so much of the stuff that people have never heard off, forget about tasting it or making it.

Have you ever heard of “Baban tikki”?- it’s a fruit I have seen only in rajpura

Have you ever had papad k pedi?

or raw chips while they are spread in the sun for drying?

You haven’t and so you don’t know the little treasures of life I find here in my food bits.

# Just like this there are infinite smiles that only this city could give me:

  • This the city which gave me a parrot as pet as there was a hawker selling them Rs. 20 some 10 years ago.
  • This is the city where I could enjoy a swing right outside my house as the there is a “Jhoola-wala” who roams around on the streets everyday selling a ride
  • This is the city where I sat on an elephant and roamed around the city for just some Rs. 20

They say you always abuse in your native language and so do i- The joy/fun of abusing in your mother tongue is no matter what priceless- I very often use the words – gichle (dirty), duthel (inept at anything).

Here when asked for directions from anyone, you only have to go seedha(straight). Even if they are pointing towards left, they call it seedha. So here everything like this is tedha- lingo, people, eve-teasers.  But I say “Tedha hai par mera hai”

Rajpura despite being all this to me, despite being the gateway to Punjab is still a very small city where my soaring ambitions don’t meet the opportunities to realize them. And so I have been morphed into a “Big City girl, as one of my friend calls me. And so people ask me “Do you still like Rajpura?” And I say “I love it”, because that’s where I belong. This is the place I call my own, this is the place I call “Home”. Someone once said “No matter where you go, you should never forget where you have come from”