Those days of bonhomie
Time is both a great leveller and a great healer. Joy and sorrow traverse one’s life like two banks of a river. It is the memories that remain, but time also has an inherent ability to forget and forgive. As you grow up, a city changes, so do its citizens, but memories remain. In just three-and-a-half decades, things have changed. I was born and brought up in Barabanki, a sleepy town of Uttar Pradesh, so small that almost all its residents knew each other. The same people in every marriage, or a mourning, one town hall hosting the functions, one playground to share. Religion hardly had any demarcation. The camaraderie was such that festivals and religious rituals remained common. In fact, events like the Urs of Haji Waris Ali Shah at Dewa Shareef were calculated by the Vikram Samvat calendar. Festivals were linked and we used to have Thakur Ji’s panchang hanging in our house. Nearly, three decades after I left the town for studies, I never realised it would be for eternity.