On a semi-circular board was written-
FIGHT THE GUERRILLA LIKE A GUERRILLA!
This is the FIRST thing my eyes noticed about my new home to be!
My sister and I exchanged looks, wondering why our father would fight a Guerrilla now! I was 8 yrs old and my sister was 4!
What we thought-
And WHAT IT MEANT-
It took us a really long time to understand what that statement truly meant! Many years in fact!
But what we knew was that this tiny little town was going to be my home for a couple of years if not more! And we were already in love with it!
Here, in a small town, hidden in the unknown lands of Mizoram!
In Vairengte, Kolasib-
At the bottom of a hill, surrounded by many other hills, in the middle of a thick bamboo jungle, there was a little building!
We lived on those hills, with houses made of Tin roofs! Roofs on which the torrential rains fell with a vengeance and the clouds thundered as if daring us to step out!
We had gardens which would lead into steep valleys! Valleys which would plummet into beautiful darkened greens of the evergreen bamboo forests!
If we walked out into our gardens and looked down, into the valley and looked a little towards our right, down into the valley, we could see this little building
This building had two rows of roughly 6 rooms each! These rows faced each other and were separated by a big open space in between!
This building was our world and it was supported by only 1 shop which served us with only the bare essentials of life! Just enough to make sure we never went hungry, we never were left naked, we never turned into stink bombs and we never ran out of paper and pen!
One sole building, and some 40 odd souls!
This building sustained us all single handedly most times!
The only extravagant thing we had access to was a HUGE LIBRARY! The library housed all that we could ever ask for in the 1990s!
The building in the day was our school!LITTLE FLOWER SCHOOL!
Bamboo dance in our School!
That’s me encircled in Green 😎😆
The school, which in the evening would become our play ground and as the day would progress, it would become our party venue!
In the mornings, the school’s open spaces were our assembly area, which in the evenings became our play grounds and at night, our dance floors!
In the day, our mothers became our teachers at school, in the evening, our parents became our partners and opponents in badminton, tennis, squash, etc! And as the night set in, our father’s friends became our dance partners!
During the day, our principal was our principal and would discipline us, in the evening our principal would be our playmate and at night the party host!
In the day, we hated the place we were in because of the weather! So stifling it would get! The air would be so heavy, at times it was difficult to breathe!
As the evenings would start to settle in, there would be fragrant air all around! Suddenly, the blue, burning skies would be dotted with large grey, uneven blobs (aka clouds). The still air would instantly pick pace and a breeze would begin to encircle us!
And The fragrance! It won’t be of one particular element! It would me a mix of jasmines, bamboo shoots, and the food!
(the food, especially the sweet corn soup and those Gulab Jamuns ON FIRE From this officers club were to die for)
This delicate mix of aromas would stick around and end on most days with Gulab jamun on fire! Literally!
This was my life for 2 years! 1996-1998!
Those 2 years gave me some of my most cherished days!
We weren’t spoilt with choices! But we were spoilt with memories and experiences!
We weren’t bathing in luxuries which were material, but we had the luxury of simplicity!
We didn’t have Magnum or Amul to pick from, but nothing could make our summers sweeter than our plain Vanilla ice cream!
Today, I am blessed with choices! Choices so many, that I wish I didn’t have these many!
Like it is in most cases, excess of choices is bad as well!
The beauty of moderation is lost and it has taken with it the phenomenon of delicate clarity!
What’s worse is, I am aware of the loss and yet, I am doing nothing to regain it!
Are you in the same boat as I?