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Gurugramwale: Remembrance of ‘yaad’ past

Inspired by his name, an elderly citizen shares memories of his native village.

gurgaon Updated: Apr 15, 2019 13:56 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
gurugramwale,gurgaon,sadar bazar gurgaon
Yaad Ram is an ironing man in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazar area. (HT Photo )

His slightly swirly moustache renders the 66-year-old ironing man in Gurugram’s Sadar Bazaar with a certain measure of awe. Even more remarkable is his name. “Yaad means remembrance,” Yaad Ram confesses the fact shyly. This hot steamy afternoon, Mr Ram recalls that he left his village, Mator, in Alwar, Rajasthan, more than 40 years ago. He agrees to summon back five memories—or “yaadein” —of his native place that he holds dear to his heart.

1. We had a talaab (lake) near our village. It was as large as the chowk here in Sadar Bazaar. I would swim daily with my friends during the afternoon hours. The water used to be chilly even in peak summer. Our companions usually happened to be the village’s cows and buffaloes. In the winter, though, nobody dared to step into it because of freezing cold.

2. Our village had only one temple and was dedicated to Ramchandraji and Seeta Mayya. It was very small and did not even have a full-time priest. I often went to the mandir to offer prayers but would never ask Ramchandraji for anything. We had all we needed. My father operated a tonga in the village and earned enough to support the family.

3. We had hills close to our village. Sometimes our whole family would wake up at four in the morning and, along with neighbours, make a trek towards the jungle situated up there on the slopes to collect wood. We would return home four or five hours later carrying the bundles on our head. Mother would use that wood to fire the chulha (stove).

4. Our house was made of stone. It had five rooms and a large courtyard. We called it haveli. But actually only one room was inherited by my father in which I grew up with my six brothers. The rest of the rooms belonged to my uncles.

5. My father Shri Parshadi Ram died 15-16 years ago and my mother Shrimati Imarti passed away some six years ago. We cremated both of them in the village’s shamshan ghat called Roopshali. But we immersed their ashes far away in Garh Ganga in UP. That was the only holy river closest to our village.

First Published: Apr 15, 2019 13:56 IST