Stop right there.
Let me picture you in my mind for the last time.
Soon you’ll be walking out of my life.
Let me gaze upon you for the last time.
I need something to hold on to.
Something to carry me through.
All I need is one last look before you go.
So I’ll have memories where ever I go.
One last look before you’re gone.
So in my heart you’ll live on and on.
Just one last look before we part.
So memories of you will fill my heart.
Let me remember my whole life through.
‘Cause my happiest days, I’ve spent with you.
—– JUST ONE LAST LOOK – The temptations
The lyrics indicate enough. Though they indicate farewell to a sweetheart, in my case it’s not that. In my case it’s not someone walking out of my life. It’s more of the reverse. In my case, it’s not a person but an inanimate object that I am associating all these feelings with. It’s more of a farewell to a house. A house in which I have spent a lot of my moments, in all these years. A house that I have always associated with my childhood as well as my mom’s. A house which was old and antiquated. A house with an architecture which is now defunct. A big open verandah in between with the house “around” it. All kind of plants planted in a small bed of earth around the verandah. A house which had a “well” inside for a large part of its life. It also had a handpump for quite some time. A house which had been surrounded by “tabelas” of buffaloes for many years, for it was built in the non-glitzy Gurgaon of yesteryears. A house which in its prime was the only cemented, double storied structure around. A house which had those huge metallic “kundee” type bolts which could not be locked. And there was a phase when people never needed to. The almost gigantic wooden doors with that typical arch, would have huge metallic hoops as knockers because there were no door bells then. The house which had these huge, heavy chick curtains to block out a bright sun. The house with the high ceilings and with those huge fans. The house where a lot of tales of partition were retold and recounted.
The house where I played unlimited Ludo, hide and seek, hopscotch and some more imagined games. A house, from the open verandah of which, my sister and I would squint under the sun to wave at every passing airplane (thanks to the proximity to IGI airport) because it was a fun thing to do. The house where we actually made paper boats and then “sailed” them in puddles formed after rains. The house in which we always had one or two kites floating around when it would be kite flying season. The house where my mom had her engagement photos taken. The house where she got ready when she was to get married. People never indulged in beauty parlours then. The house where we had all the table cloths, cushion covers and armrests made by my nani. The house where my sister and I would fight over a particular spoon because it was too round and too cute. The house where we knew we were always welcome. The house which we reached after an arduous journey across a stony path (no road) on a two wheeler! The distances were big in those days and the only things that were the landmarks in Gurgaon were the factories. The house which had pictures of a cute kid who was supposed to be our grown up mother. The house which had a lot of wall hangings made by my maasis. The house which was a typical human nest where the kids had taken off and came visiting now and then. The house where my maternal grandparents spent about 40 years. That house is being sold off after my nani’s death. Soon it would be time to take one last look before we part. So that memories of it will fill my heart.