Barsaata

The soft sound of rain droplets, on the wooden panel of the stained window, in a candle lit wooden cottage. The worldly smell of earth, the ravishing sound of a cuckoo and the blurry haze of green and blue, all encompassing. My childhood home. It stood there aloof, atop a small magical shadowed hill in the densely forested city of Barsaata. It was surrounded by trees and lakes, both small and big, for as far as the eye could see. It was as silent and calm as still water yet echoed with the rippling sounds of exotic birds and wildlife. It was mystical like a world away from the world.

I grew up to the soft sounds of rain and the lilting tone of my mother’s hushed voice singing ‘Baarsati’ folk songs about witches and fairies, princesses and ugly toads, of the big black cat and his small white mole. I remember my father’s loud burly laugh. How I jumped into his strong arms when he returned home after a long day’s work, the smell of wood still clinging on to his shirt. It was my paradise, my safe haven. Every Sunday was a celebration, a festival. The smell of freshly baked bread wafting into the room, the chicken sizzling on the grill and the smell of sweet syrup puddings. My stomach would lurch in a sing song melody and my mouth would water instantly.

The cold cozy winters were magnificent. The cottage would glow from the fierce fire lit in the living room. The smell of incense and fresh flowers, filling my nostrils with a sublime and serene undertone of happiness. How can I forget the lazy hours that I’ve spent in front of the fireplace? Mom and dad taking turns to enchant me with a new twist in the unending fairy tale. The walls of my childhood home still echo the stories I am too shy to tell, the memories I am too nostalgic to recall. It was my own fairy tale, now it is only a dream.

The Past. That is my wanderlust.

-Bidisha Mahapatra
Political Science, 1st year.

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