Bhushan Chander Jindal



Bhushan Chander Jindal


Longing For My Childhood City

Longing For My Childhood City

4 mins 12.1K 4 mins 12.1K

Dear Diary,

Today is the thirty first day of the countrywide lockdown against Corona. It's been quite some time now. We are getting weary of staying at home, doing same things time and again. But as they say, hope sustains life. We have seen good days, we will see better days in the times to come. With this hope, the stay at home prescription is being followed like a bitter pill.

We are hoping that the lockdown will surely slow down the spread of the virus and we will soon be free from the shackles of the invisible enemy. We need to keep ourselves motivated by reminiscing about our dreams that are yet to be fulfilled. From dreams, I remember one recurring dream that I am having for the past more than thirty years now.

The dream is about a visit to the city of Fazilka in which I spent my childhood, but never visited again for the past thirty years. There is so much longing in the dream, about visiting my childhood friend's house. It has so happened during the past about thirty years in the numerous counts of this recurring dream, I have never been able to visit my friend, Himanshu's house and everytime I wake up before being able to arrive at his place. I visit my own house in which we spent some five years then, but as soon as I get ready to go cycling to my friend's house, I wake up. Perhaps this is due to the sheer excitement of meeting him. This unfulfilled voyage to my friend's house in my dreams has intensified my longing all the more. His mother always stood on the roof of the house, waiting for us to return home after writing our exams. She always wanted for us to score good marks.

I hope one day I will visit my childhood city and a long-cherished friend's house in reality if not in dreams. Then I would like to go cycling on the streets of the cherished city along with my friend. We will catch up with Vikas Aggarwal in the next Street. Then we will take round of all the streets, bazaars and will visit the bookstores from where we used to take comics on hire. We will visit the two theatres in which we saw countless blockbusters even during our exam days. We will try to figure out if any of the shopkeepers seems to be familiar still now. We will try to take in deep breaths to find out if any smell of our childhood is still lurking in the air! We will try to search for houses of our classmates and see if they recognise us. We would like to meet Vikas Chawla, Vikas Aneja, Tinku, Anil, Pawan, Pavitor, Suraj, Makhan, Anju, Ranju, Vandana, Gauri, Shallu & Anjali. This seems to be a windfall of friends.

Best of all, we all together will go to our school on a working day and stealthily go inside, will peep inside classrooms, to see if any of our childhood teacher is still there, by luck. We will try to see if the classroom furniture is the same on which we had scribbled many things or has been changed. We will try to recognise trees in the school gardens, in whose shades we partook our lunch during recess time. We would like to sit in the class room and again take lessons from the teacher.

We would visit the school tuck shop and see if the owner is still the same. We will buy many things from him and will not haggle with him over prices, as now we have much more money in our wallets compared to the pocket money we used to carry with us to school. But it seems that then with that paltry pocket money we enjoyed much more than with all the credit and debit cards in our wallets now! That childhood longing for the twenty-five paise cotton candy got lost somewhere while growing up! Hope this visit will satiate my longing for many years of visiting my childhood city.

But one fear remains that by now many things might have changed in that city, the streets may look unfamiliar, the people may not recognise me, the sights and smells of my childhood might have changed with time and the worst fear is that my childhood friends might not look to be the same children now, whom I have wanted to meet in all my recurring dreams!

The dream continues to beckon me to visit my childhood city.

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