Like every year, this year too we were looking for a place to spend our winter vacations.
Don’t know what made my mother suggest us go to her ancestral place in eastern U.P. Maybe, she was missing it a lot. We all, without giving a second thought to her suggestion, agreed. The place was approx. 900 Km away from Delhi, so we had to take a train.
Eventually, the day arrived and we all boarded the train, it took approx. 13 hours to reach Gorakhpur, a well known station in east U.P. I could clearly see the inner happiness reflecting on my mother’s face. We grew up, hearing her childhood stories that revolved around her native house. Her childhood stories sounded like a fairy tale to us.
We were told that her ancestral house had many rooms up and down. Many servants were engaged to do the cleaning part.We both sisters were very excited today to see that huge mansion through our naked eyes.
We booked a taxi from the railways station to her village. It took 2 more hours from the station to reach her village. While dad was unloading the luggage, I noticed a feeling of contentment on my mother’s face. She looked at the huge rusted gate, touched it as if she wanted to feel and relive her childhood. She felt nostalgic while entering the gate. Today’s mansion looked silent and grey unlike her childhood days.
As we were busy taking rounds and enjoying the grandeur of the haveli, a lady in veil came touched my mother’s feet. She washed her feet in a big steel dish which my mother told was the tradition of that village. Though my mother’s uncle was taking care to maintain the haveli, but he financially becomes helpless, as huge building needs a good amount of money to be invested for the maintenance.
The big area inside the gate which ones was full of beautiful flowers, had nothing than long gray grasses. The garage was full of extra things piled up. My mother told me that there was a time when this garage was maintained, as her father was crazy for owning up good cars. Ambassador was his favorite and was kept in that garage.
It was 7 pm, when we were called up for dinner. Too early, but in villages people have their dinner early only as they believed that early to bed and early to rise, keeps a person healthy wealthy and wise. The dinner was served in a traditional way. We were made to sit on the ground to have it. The meal was served in a different way which was very tempting, full of pure ghee, spices, pickles and salad. We had a delicious dinner and went to our granny’s room, which still had some antique furniture and a big double bed in it. The furniture was covered with white sheets for protection. A servant came and made bed ready for us to sleep. While lying o
n the bed we could easily see the twinkling stars in sky through the window. It was a beautiful night and a lovely experience for us. Calm, silent and cozy night.