Remembrance of the past!

On a winter early morning hours in the year 1975, the passenger train slowly came to a stop on the only platform that was human friendly

This tiny railway station sported a two-room structure that accommodated the station master's space and the railway signal control room

In those years the environment of the villages remained in their pristine authentic state and my grandparent's village was also a beauty to long for

This tiny railway station was the connectivity by rails to about a dozen of these tiny and beautiful villages, located scattered along the landscape

The effective way of communication in those times was the good old postcard and my parents had kept my grandparents, posted on my arrival

I was the sole passenger to alight at that station with a trunk box as the luggage storage which was almost 1/3rd of my physical size

I lumbered along on the platform partly carrying and partly dragging the luggage box pathetically looking around for a helping hand and the only pair of spare hands was of the station masters which were busy waving the signal flag

I managed to reach the exit gate which almost appeared like a gap torn out of the iron railings

My eyes searched for my favourite bullock cart which was one of the main reasons for wanting to visit this village

I loved the ride on this cart through the green pastures of this village tracks, skillfully driven by my grandpa's loyal assistant who also doubled up as his bodyguard

Neither bullock cart nor the driver was seen as far as my eyes could see and remember there wasn't any other mode of communication to reach my grandparents except probably by a telegram which again was accessible after 10 am only and that too after a walk of say 3 km

There was a major catch in this telegram communication since 90% of this service was used in those times only to convey the demise of someone close hence using this service will for sure scare my grandparents and lead to chaos before I could physically be present

It took me a great effort to erase these types of thoughts from my mind and for the sake of my mind diversion, I began to stroll around the exterior of the railway station

There was this line of three cute little houses 🏠 with the sloping tiled roofs, little garden space in the front and a water well in the backyard

A middle-aged woman walked out from one of these homes and concerned, asked me about my situation and invited me to her home to relax till such time the bullock cart reaches

She happened to be the station masters wife and had known my grandparents ever since her husband was posted here

I thanked her heartily for the cup of hot filter coffee which tasted like a celestial drink in that situation

I heard/felt the approaching bullock cart, got up in a hurry and almost forgot to thank the wonderful lady

She just smiled, waved and wished me a pleasant stay with my grandparents

I got a bit irked to see the grinning face of my grandpa's assistant for having made me wait but then realised his real joy in seeing me and I also began to grin

For a split second, I thought that the Bullock's too was grinning at me, pinched myself to clear my mind from such illusionary effects

Happily boarded the cart, went and sat next to the Man Friday (grandpa's assistant), the trunk box lay quietly at one corner

Here I must share a bit on the make-ready process of a bullock cart to quench the reader's knowledge thirst

The cotton cushions will be placed inside the cart passengers slot, the Bullock's will be fed and kept ready before lifting the front of the cart for the animals to step into their slots

The harness that secures the Bullock's with the cart slot will have cotton paddings to support and prevent any injuries to the animal's neck due to pulling the cart on the rides

This process almost resembled an artist drawing because of the synchronized moves of the man, animal and the machine

The ignition key to start this vehicle was our Man Friday's voice command which technology is incorporated in the present day, state of the art automobiles

"Hey Hey" was the voice command at which the Bullock's took of at a great speed and I was tossed inside the cart since I failed to hold on to the side supporting handrails

It was all fun till my spine began to protest against the carts speed test, Man Friday sensed my discomfort and repeated the voice command at a different tune at which the Bullock's immediately slowed down

I was awestruck and amazed at this human technology with a lively synchronisation of the man > animal unity mode

An hour of a thrilling ride after, me, man Friday and the bullock cart stopped in front of my grandparents sweet home

Home is relatively a small four-letter word in comparison to the large size of the house with its vast frontage, sprawling lawn, a dozen + rooms and the backyard huge garden

Grandparents were eagerly awaiting my arrival and thereafter for the next hour, it was all exchange of pleasantries, a cold bath at the water well, a delicious steaming porridge and the grand final touch 👇

"The Hot Filter Coffee in a clay mug"

Well the stay was as green as the surroundings and stays evergreen in my memories

We all dearly miss those pristine beauties of the village life, don't we 🙏🏼



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suryanarayanan k

suryanarayanan k

Who Am I * 40yrs self-employment 👇 • Printing & Packaging • Tourism Resort Promotor • Adventure sports & camping events • Backpacker, Solo traveller • Writer