My late Naani’s home in Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi is going to be demolished and rebuilt in January 2013!!! I got this news from my Mom a couple of days ago. My maternal uncle who is living there now wanted everyone to have a last look at the old home and invited all the family living in New Delhi – my parents; my brother and his family; all my aunts; all my cousins and their kids. I understand that everyone had a great time, fondly looking at each nook and cranny of that home. It is a huge home and was built almost 60 years ago.
Sitting here, thousands of miles away, my heart filled with mixed emotions as the childhood memories of visiting my Naani’s home ran through my mind. Like in a time machine, I was transported to the years gone by. We used to live around eight to ten miles away from my Naani’s home. We would visit my Naani almost every weekend. My older brother and I were the first of the many-many grand children that home has seen. Being first, we were always doted by our grandparents and our four aunts and two uncles, yes it is a BIG family :-) I remember the atrium like open area, right in the middle of the home. I used to love to see the rain drops coming from the heavens on a rainy day or enjoy the bright sunshine on a cold winter day in that area. Gone are those days when I would climb up the huge guava trees in the compound and pluck those yummy and juicy fruits. I would eat them ripe and eat them green, sometimes till I got a tummy-ache! Where are those days when I would go to the terrace and fly kites the whole day long!! Play with colours and throw water balloons at passers by!!! Burst fireworks during Diwali or pre-Diwali days!!!!
That was the home which witnessed wedding of my uncles and aunts when it was decked up like a bride or groom itself. It witnessed the chapters of our lives unfold, one after another, some were happy, some were sad – like when we first lost our Grandpa (NaanaJi) and then our Grandma (NaaniJi). It witnessed the birth of all my wonderful cousins and all of us growing up. It witnessed the whole family assembling every Raakhi day and every major festival. Now that home is going away, being brought to ground and a new one would be constructed at the same place.
The born optimist that I am is looking at it as the beginning of a new chapter. I am cherishing the fond memories I had of that home and wishing that the new building will make more happy memories. That is what life teaches us with going away of someone or something we loved – celebrate and remember the life of what has gone away and do not mourn the fact that it is no more there. Writing this, on this last day of year 2012, my heart fills with happiness and gratitude for what the life has taught me so far. There is nothing called perfection in this life and change is the only constant...