Monday, February 23, 2009

A Commitment…delivered!


Even though today was a tiring day for me, it was one of the memorable day in my life. I went back to my childhood days and recollected many fond memories of my childhood holiday visits to my granny’s place – a small village called Budili in Hindupur district of Andhra Pradesh. It is almost 150 km from Bangalore.

My dad was proud having constructed a small house there which was ready to occupy and he had arranged for the house warming and Pooja. He was angry with me that I had not visited my granny since 4-5 years. So my parents wanted and they warned me to visit the event without fail. I had promised them that I would make it. Old house where my granny used to live was in a very bad shape because of the rains last year. I was happy that my dad could build a new house for my granny! Bravo!

Today I got up very early and since I was going to travel by bike, I thought of taking TS along with me. We started our journey from Bangalore at 7 Am. As we were travelling, I was telling TS about my childhood days and my visit to granny’s place. The new highway (NH-7) was just amazing and the speedometer reading reached 100kmph many times. We thought of having breakfast once we reach Budili and hence we just filled ourselves with tender coconut and cookies. And my mom had asked me to get some sweets; I remembered about it when we reached Chickballapur and picked up a packet of Haldirams!

It was a long ride of 3 hours and was unbelievable that I could not recognize any place on the way because of the new highway project. I was searching for the ‘Kodikonda checkpost’ stop from where we used to take bus to our village. It had disappeared. And I was searching for the right turn we used to take and it was totally changed. Luckily we were on the right way and I could recognize the village entrance. TS was making fun of the village name and he even told few of his friends about it. As soon as we entered the village, people were looking at us in a very strange manner and we were not surprised with that. After the great welcome into the village, we reached our newly built home. It’s a very small house of around 200 sft and sufficient for one person to live comfortably. By the time we reached, the Pooja was over and my parents were busy preparing for the breakfast. I introduced TS to my granny and my cousin brother who had come down from a very long distance just for the Pooja.

All of them were very happy of me visiting them after a long time. There were many people started walking in to see me and greet me. When you are the grandson of a very famous personality in the village, you would get the same respect from the villagers. They used to call me also “swamy” which means we belong to the family of priests and they call us as "Brahmins" in the village; also they call our house as "Brahmin's house". I do not know what it is though! I was even forced to talk to them in Telugu. We had our breakfast and went into the old house. Our old house was very big and it was just awesome which is now in a pathetic shape. I saw a lot of photographs of our relatives and recollected old memories. There was a swing on which we used to play; luckily the swing is still in a good condition and I do not mind getting it from there to Bangalore some day. Unfortunately I did not have my camera so I had to take pictures from my mobile phone’s camera. It was a very different experience for me which I just cannot express my feelings in words.

My sister wanted us to see the river and the temple which we used to go everyday during those days. Even though there was no water, we went there just to see it and get the feel out of it. It was as good as it used to be but for the water. If there was enough water flowing in the river, it would’ve been wonderful. I still remember the amount of fun we used to have during our visits there. There are lot of changes in the village including the number of houses, the agriculture crops, industries around etc., this was the positive change and the change for development.

I got to know a lot about the place “Amalladinna” and its history from my brother Ramana and he promised to send me the book on the same. Most of my friends ask me about my last name and I keep answering them that it’s just a place in Andhra Pradesh. But it’s not just a place; there is a very good story behind it which I will explain in my next post. We had the delicious lunch at 1.30 and started from there. My granny wasn’t happy about me leaving so soon and she wanted me to stay there overnight for which I had to give some reasons and get her approval. We left there at 2 pm and I reached Bangalore at 4.30 pm. And ofcourse as my title says, it was my commitment to my dad and I hope I delivered it beyond expectations. ;)
End of the day! i was ecstatically happy having experienced a mixed set of feelings! and yes! i do not like being in a city for long time...

1 comment:

Narasim said...

It is good to see Srikanth deliver on his promise to his parents and grandma.

The most fascinating part of the story was his mixed feelings about the round trip to his ancestral place. Nostalgia is always mixed in evoking memories. As William Faulkner said, "The past is not dead. In fact, it is not even past."

I look forward to his narrative on Amalladinna. Quite often, sthala puranas tell us a good deal about not only our heritage but also about our current selves.

Kisan from Kandvar
(Owner of Halli Oota Restaurant in Sudbury)