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I am going home

So many fond memories and I am still nervous. Not because I am going home, but because I am expected to tell home truths, writes Ashutosh Sapru.

india Updated: Nov 09, 2008 00:54 IST
Ashutosh Sapru

If I close my eyes I can see our ancestral house on the banks of the Jhelum. In Habba Kadal, the lanes were narrow and the house huge --- four storeyed and compact. It had a lawn full of rose bushes -- no wonder a sweet fragrance hung around the place. From my parents’ room on the second floor you could see the mountains. I still do…in my mind.

In summer I used to sleep on the top floor in the big hall with large wooden windows, me, my brothers and sister and our grandmother, with the fat moon staring at us. The breeze was cool and soothing and even in summer we didn’t need fans. And in winters when the roofs were covered with icicles we would crane our necks to lick them… sheeshar ganth we called them

So many fond memories and I am still nervous.

Not because I am going home, but because I am expected to tell home truths. And as you know that kind of thing can be quite uncomfortable. All kinds of loyalties get in the way.

In this case you might think that all those years (twenty to be precise) between the Valley and me might have diminished the loyalties making the storytelling easier.

To be honest, I can’t say yet.

All I know is that for now, the memories feel like cataract. And I am nervous, because you see I want to see the Valley like it is now, but I also want to love it as I did then and have since.

I was trying to think of a name for the blog from the usual clichés, ‘Kashmir Post’, ‘Inside the valley’, ‘Paradise …’ And that was when the silly pun came to me. ‘Paradice’, with a ‘c’? ‘Dice’ as in gamble?

And a gamble it is whichever way you look at it. The polls we’ll be covering are of course a gamble. And then there is that emotional gamble --- will it be like this or will it be like that...

I would have gone crazy had it not been for a nice coincidence. Someone has chosen Jammu as our starting point. You see, I am told that was my starting point too, the beginning of my beginning. I was born in Jammu. My early childhood was in Poonch where father was posted at the Government degree college. That is also our second destination. Then we are off to the Valley were my roots are on the banks of the Jhelum.