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Convergence of time in KAKRA

September 9, 2013

Holiday – is such a sweet word… the moment you hear it, you start dreaming of an interesting, fun-filled time for self and family. As a child I always looked forward to my summer and winter vacations, for that meant going to my nani’s or my dadi’s place year after year and have a lot of fun with my other cousins without getting bored of anything. As a teenager my interests changed and spending time in home-town with school friends was much more pleasurable than visiting any other place. Cycling from one friend’s place to another friend’s place using lanes and by-lanes of the city used to be so thrilling that even the scorching summer sun or the hot winds (‘lu’ for some of us) were no deterrent.

With the passage of time, the meaning of ‘holiday’ changed. It no longer meant to be visiting nani or dadi or any other distant relative in a remote unfamiliar city. Holidays were transformed into just a few days break from the work… and all they needed was to book a hotel, spend a couple of days at a hill station or at a beach depending on the time of the year you are able to get leave from work.

For years we were not able to have a common time when we were free together. Apart from Sundays or other gazetted holidays, our ‘leaves’ never seemed to coincide. One out of a family of three was always having some commitment that could not be avoided.

So when Arvind said, “Let us plan a holiday when Pushkin comes for his wedding in December,” I was a little enthusiastic but more confused.

“Do you think we will have time? There will be so many last minute preparations to be done for the wedding”, I replied.

“We will go after his marriage”, said Arvind.

“Will they go for their honey moon or for a family holiday?” I said in a tone that meant that you seem to have forgotten that he may want to spend more time with his newly wedded wife.

“Ah…yes, we will see.” and the conversation ended that day.

During the weekend conference chat with Pushkin and Monika, we asked them of their plans for their honeymoon. And to our surprise, both of them replied, “We would love to spend the time with you and other family members as far as possible”.

I had started dreaming and planning of a day trip to Kakra, my ancestral village, even before the chat was over. Even Pushkin would want to visit this place a second time, and perhaps see village architecture closely. This visit would include Monika, and so it would easily become a travel into history… and not remain a mere short-vacation. Yes, I am sure, that all of them will be happy to see and relate to my childhood memories too. It will be definitely an interesting holiday spot for all of us.

Kakra is a village about 3 km from Bhawanigarh, in Sangrur district in Punjab. My grandma (dadi) used to stay there before she moved to live with us at Patiala when she grew old. We had a huge old house there and some agricultural land too. I still have some childhood memories of the place and would love to go back and show these places to my family. Visiting Kakra, will be like going back to roots once again, bring those moments alive in the memory.

Yes, travelling to Kakra will make us happy!

Kakra_01

Kakra_01

Road leading to our house. The houses seen on both sides are new for me too as these were non-existent when I used to visit this place. Enough proof here to tell us how structures change and evolve… how modernisation seeps in…

The past, though, is always to ready to be with us through even crumbling masonry, as the next picture of our old haveli shows.

Kakra_02

Kakra_02

One can still see that strong masonry work in the remaining walls of the once so-huge a house. The first gate led to the place where a chariot (and no, it wasn’t just a tonga) was kept when my grandfather was alive and later was used for keeping camel and cart. The second door to the main room called ‘badi baithak’ (big drawing room) where guests/people who used to come and meet my grandfather were entertained. These rooms are there without all the glorious decors of that time… and so even standing in the midst of such a structure has the power to make you feel quite insignificant.

Kakra_03

Kakra_03

Now just look at this door… I’m sure when we visit this very door as a family, the happy glow will reflect what history can do to us mortals. Intricate wood carving work can still be seen on the panels of the door. The door chain is still in place and as strong as ever.

Kakra_04

Kakra_04

Cow-dung cakes are still being used in the village. Cow-dung was normally used to make organic manure and was used for fields and farms. I had even tried my hands on making cow-dung cakes when I was young and used to visit my dadi here. This was the place where I had played hopscotch and ‘gulli-danda’ and marbles with other girls and boys of the neighbourhood.

I do hope to find people there who’d be able to relate tales from the past… stories that would make those past generations come alive. Yes, there are some still alive who do remember these stories.

Kakra_05

Kakra_05

Our house was the only one in this cul-de-sac. However, some part of it seems to have collapsed and is now no longer visible. Door on the left was the main door used for entering the house.

Kakra_06

Kakra_06

Drainage system can be seen in place between the windows. These structures will also allow us to sit and think of what they may have been decades ago… there is so much poetry seeping and oozing out of them even now!

Kakra_07

Kakra_07

‘Our Rath used be parked here’ my mother had told me, ‘and whenever anyone of the family came it was sent to Bhawanigarh to fetch them.’ This was when my grandfather was alive and lived here.

Kakra_08

Kakra_08

Exploring other developments and changes in the village.

Kakra_13

Kakra_13

Old primary school now has building and classrooms. Earlier children used to sit under the trees. yes, this is another activity that we will do… meet the teachers of this old primary school… see if there are any old teachers still in the village and if yes, go to them and talk to them. The discussions will all remain focussed on the past and whatever remains of those days.

The trip will surely not be just a lesson in history… it will also be a lesson in the way people interacted and nurtured relationships in those days.

Kakra_10

Kakra_10

Kakra_14

Kakra_14

Loving and simple village folk who live as a family and have a strong connect. Look at the excitement on the faces of these simple folk… these pictures were clicked when we had gone there with a few of our relatives… and some of the stories that were retold then are still in my mind.

Kakra_09

Kakra_09

The shop that we used to go to buy toffees also seems to have had a make-over. We just might get an opportunity to go deeper into the past years when we get into relaxed discussions with the people who are in the village now. During the visit when we clicked these pictures, we were in a hurry and did not have the time to sit and talk at length.

Kakra_11

Kakra_11

Old craft is still alive in villages. Women of the village still working on handloom for ‘durrie’ and ‘khes’ making and are more than  happy to allow you to try your hands on.

Aha! Learning about crafts that are as good as dead in larger cities promises to be super exciting! It is this sort of an adventurous foray into the past that makes life so thrilling and full of enigmas.

Kakra_12

Kakra_12

Relaxed pace of the village life – so unlike of fast-paced city life. It seems here everyday is a holiday!

Kakra_15

Kakra_15

An old fellow in the village talked of my father by his nickname and were happy to bless me. ‘I have a lot of stories about Bheem,’ he said, ‘but you’ll have to sit with me and spend the night in my house.’ This would be so exciting for Pushkin… to hear stories about his Nana from one of his friends when he was a kid!

Kakra_16

Kakra_16

Family of Dr Puri, the only doctor (when I was a child) of the village,  received us warmly and were full of enthusiasm to show us around. Their hospitality  and love is unforgettable. I still remember how I used to go their house by crossing the roofs of the connected houses. They have shifted to their new house now.

Kakra_17

Kakra_17

Kakra_18

Kakra_18

Signs of development are visible all around. New roads, new buildings are coming up and technology is not far behind.

Kakra_19

Kakra_19

Visit to my village Kakra again with my family will give us joy and happiness and a total experience of holiday while peeping through the past!

I know it is always so much more glamorous and so much glitzy to travel to foreign locales… to write about far-off lands… and to discuss people and traditions that are absolutely different from ours. However, it is equally exciting to be submerged in our own stories and to try and dig out snippets from the past that are no longer easily accessible. It is so thrilling to be able to personally go and touch and feel ruins that still have winds blowing through them that whisper of all that happened years back!

Yes, we will go there… we will all go to Kakra and it is going to be a really happy travel trip.

 

This post is aimed to ‘creating happy travellers‘ and is a part of a blogging contest on indiblogger.
The contest is sponsored by Yatra.

Sangita Passey
09 September 2013

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From → Travel Point

14 Comments
  1. Loved the pictures of the haveli! The door with the overgrown grass was poetry!

  2. This is such a beautiful post. I loved walking with you through your village. One of the best memories of my childhood is visiting a huge farm in the outskirts of my city. That is the closest I went to a village. Foreign locations are glamorous, but there are beautiful corners in our own country that are far better. Especially if they have sweet memories attached with them!

    • Thanks Nisha! This small village has a charm of its own. People live like a big family and mostly know each other well.

      • shahid permalink

        pls sangita g yahan par koi sufi mazar hai godar shah kay naam say pls help karain aur batain

  3. A refreshing change from people wanting to go to places that are already crowded with tourists. Kakra seems to be a great place to understand the rural life as it exists in Punjab… and a trip to the old haveli should be quite intriguingly interesting!

    Arvind Passey
    http://www.passey.info

    • A visit will definitely be very refreshing and you all will be able to relate to my stories of vacations spent there!

      • shahid permalink

        pls kakra main koi mazar hai godar shah ka isi village main meray dada g school teacher thay partion say pehlay

    • shahid permalink

      partion say pehlay yeh kis ki malkiat thi yeh haveli

  4. Loved the brick work and the door details! Reading your post makes me want to visit ‘Kakra’. I cant wait to explore the architecture and going through your memory lanes! 🙂

  5. The pictures have captured the essence of the place so well, and the words have beautifully supported that. Lovely post. Can make everyone fly back to their ancestral villages. Picture 11 is very beautiful!

    • Thanks Sakshi! The visit was a memorable experience. We normally tend to get so occupied that visiting our ancestral village goes down on the priority list. I wish I had gone there more often. Would love to go there again and again.

  6. shahid permalink

    mujhay yeh village daikh kar bohat khushi hui hai koi meri help karay mujhay yahan kay kisi rehnay walay ka mobile number day bohat ehsan ho ga main saudi arabia main hoon aj kal aur pakistani hoon meray bazurg isi village say thay yahan koi godar shah ka mazar hai pls zaroor help karain

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