My sister and I stood inside the gate of our old house in Ludhiana. We had lived there for 40 years. Ours was a large family -- seven brothers and sisters -- that even the big house seemed small. After our father's death the house had been sold. A doctor had bought it. Now it was a huge clinic.
Standing there we were looking at the house which once was our home. Though it had changed, it still had a familiar ring to it.
We both were facing the open space in front of us and there I could see our cycles parked at one side, all six of them. Proudly, we used to cycle down to our schools and colleges. Our big jhoola used to be on the other side where we used to sit and chat with our friends for hours.
That old backyard wall was still there which we used to climb to go to our friends' house. Our favourite badminton court, as we all loved playing badminton, was not there as I could see two rooms on that ground. The view of the eight beds in a line with mosquito nets where we used to sleep, and tease one another, and the big table with a pitcher full of water was so clear as if they were still there.
I could see our kitchen where our mother used to cook and we sat on the mat on the floor and had our meals. We could not resist the fragrance of 'gajjar ka halwa' and would wait for mother to go out of the kitchen so that we could steal some.
Then I could see my wedding in that house. The sangeet, the baraat, doli, every event seemed like a film. Our children loved going there because they had a large place to play and grandparents to pamper them. This and much more moved like a film in front of my eyes. I was just standing still. Suddenly a voice interrupted my thoughts.
'Can I do anything for you? Startled, I saw an attendant standing in front of us. We both realised that tears were flowing from our eyes. Maybe he thought we were in pain or something. We just said, 'No thanks' and came out. We were too emotional, we both realised while wiping off our tears.
Even now whenever any of us goes to Ludhiana, we stop our car at the gate and tears automatically start flowing. It's like an emotional atyachaar to ourselves, but we can't help it.