Tuesday, November 20, 2012


"When you finally go back to your old hometown, you find it wasn't the old home you missed but your childhood."

~ Sam Ewing

During the last weekend, I took a rather sudden and short getaway to my maternal hometown, Puri. Ever since our return from the States, the visit had been long due and also, I had to get away to some place kind and nourishing, before the hustle and bustle of the life here engulfed me entirely. And how the three blessed days fled past me like an uninterrupted and peaceful dream - aai's (grandma) simple yet scrumptious meals; mausi's (mother's youngest sister) overwhelming concern for me as if I'm still her fourteen-year-old, scatterbrained niece; and mamu's (mother's youngest brother) countless tokens of affection. A Puri visit, even if just for a day, has always been special, one that often leaves behind a treasure trove of perfumed memories. Therefore, after every return, it has always been difficult to let go of the joy, this absolute childlike joy, which now lingers in my thoughts and in the persistent 'in Puri...' narrations to the husband.

Puri. The little seaside tourist town throbbing on the edge of the roaring Bay of Bengal. Where I grew to know myself, who I am, and what I will turn to be one day. Where many a memorable summer vacation is still painted in warm, orangish tones, tinged with a faint whiff of the salty sea air. Where I would sit by the window of my favourite backyard-facing room and weave my first tales of imagination and love. In grandpa's two-storeyed, white colonial house, this window once opened to a myriad of musings, and for hours I would sit gazing at the moody swaying of the coconut leaves, notorious monkeys cackling on boughs laden with ripe kendu, and write my diary, my sacred diary in fact, for it kept many a precious secret of an early teenage tucked inside its doodle-stained pages. 

It has been two bustling days since my return, and by now, I should have fallen back into the drab, demanding ruts of my routine life, yet all I care to think about is the simplicity of life back there, where people still know the art of living. Just like yesterday, the coconuts trees still stand tall, the kendu still bears fruit, and the monkeys haven't moved from their choicest pad. How I would love to go back and live there, in that uncomplicated world of my childhood, a thousand miles away from this maddening crowd of corporate buildings, suffocating shopping malls, and pretentious faces. If only I could look out that window now and see the things I used to once upon a time. If only.


  1. A beautiful post, it is wonderful that you can return and visit with family and leave with more memories of that safe loving place.

  2. Dear Suman. It's a beautiful and nostalgic post. I love the simplicity of life and the art of living! You have a lot of memories in Puri. And this place makes you the person you are today. Hug from Brittany

  3. Dear Suman

    Puri sounds idyllic and a place one feel in touch with nature and living. How great that your family still spoil you and don't want you to grow up. I fully understand your love for this land of youth.

    Helen xx

  4. Oh, my dear Suman, don’t do the ‘if only’. I am older than you and for much of my life i have gone down the route of ‘if only’. If only I had gone with ‘I will, in the here and now’, rather than with ‘if only’.

    Your first quotation is one that I know is true; sadly, my memories are now just that, memories, and there is no way I can go and refresh them. For me there is no ‘Puri’, because the people that made mine for me have all long gone and were I to go back, it would all be so different.

  5. wow re mast post achi au pic upload kare fb/ picassa re & angul bhi visit kari thilu ?

  6. I always think thoose people as lucky whose maternal grandparents are based in Puri..The combination of Sea, coconut trees and the unadulterated affection of the people made those memories so memorable..


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