Wednesday, March 6, 2019

A House with a Courtyard

Also published on Women's Web at: A House with a Courtyard


When home is not a place but a family, house is also not just brick-and-mortar but another member of it. Where the drawing and the dining rooms were the elderlies, who took care of all the guests and comforted them with love and warmth, the bedroom was the love which locked plenty of secrets inside. It was like a safe in an already secured house, keeping sound a lot of things unsaid. The bedroom was the epitome of ‘haya,’ reflecting modesty and decency, while keeping the needs satiated. The kitchen was the mother who was akin to ‘Annapurna,’ fulfilling the most basic need of each member of the house – hunger. The mother knew what would suit everybody the best and, thus, served accordingly.
The kitchen was surely the most favorite of elders and younger ones alike, for it combined nutrition and flavors to serve them with sumptuous meals and healthful snacks. This was the fuel, which kept the clan running with a purpose through the day until the night when the doors would open their arms to receive each and all back. Each room fit like a glove, as did each member of the family, and life seemed to be fine when the question arose where the grandma was.
There she is, in the courtyard! Yes, she is the courtyard. She has gone astray finding a meaning to her existence; the beloved granny has gone missing from the house. The granny symbolized the place meant for soaking up the sun, playing in the wee hours, sitting together by the clan to cherish sunrises and sunsets, feeding the sparrows and talking to them for hours, taking in the freshness the plants gifted every morning, reading the newspaper and letting the spices out to dry. Sadly, the granny has been replaced by a part-time nanny, the balcony. The nanny tries so hard to cover up for our beloved grandma, but no matter how much efforts she puts in, she still ends up being a mere cheap copy. The nanny doesn’t greet the guests the way grandma did, leading them to the entrance while giving a glimpse of the ‘muggu’ decorated at the main gate. She doesn’t even let the ladies from the neighborhood flock together while bidding adieu to their family members and, then, feeling relaxed for the rest of the day. The grandma breathed in the traditions and talked about the customs; the nanny will take a long time to learn.
While all other family members continue to run in the mad race of life, there is no courtyard now, standing still, waiting for them to stop and enjoy the sweet nothings of life. The shady, airy and the most natural, the nucleus of the house, which lovingly gave the peace of sleeping under a tree during the summers  or taking in the sunlight during the winters and let the fresh air inside the house, has just been forgotten in the mundane, urban life. Sadly, the grandma is not even missed. 

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