F is for Far Far Away

1988-1990, G.B Pant University, Pantnagar, District Nainital, Current: G.B. Pant University, Pantnagar, District Udham Singh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Far far away, in the late 80’s, there lived a teenager in a small, lush green, well-knit community, called the GB Pant University, Pantnagar that lay nestled in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas and was the teenager’s birthplace. She spent most of her growing up years in this beautiful campus that had meandering landscapes of foliage and a multitude of trees. These included the fruiting varieties like mango, guava, banana, papaya, litchi, and gooseberry, to name just a few. These grew in almost everybody’s backyard. People also cultivated their fresh food produce of organic vegetables and harvested their own rice and wheat.

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Some roads lead to heaven and some just make the journey worthwhile. Credits: Mamta Singh, my classmate and friend from school

The youngster had lived and travelled to other places too, as her father, was a scientist who loved taking up new challenges and was always struck by wanderlust. He kept moving to newer horizons as he climbed the echelons of academia as a plant pathologist. But Pantnagar, the quiet, pretty and picture perfect little campus remained their one-stop destination. The residents of the university were like family. In times of distress the entire community would stand together united, as one supportive unit, rooting for each other.

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Bestie and Gangly

This gangly youngster with thick rimmed glasses had also had lived in New Castle Upon Tyne (UK), Gujarat and Assam in India, but her heart belonged to Pantnagar. Also a place were she was conjoined in heart and soul to her best friend whose birthday was just two days apart from hers and held a very special place in her heart. They were born in the same hospital and their families were friends ever since they were babies. She and her best friend along with a bunch of other friends spent many a spring evenings chasing after butterflies, bumble bees and catching them ruthlessly with their badminton racquets. They even tied the bumble bees with a thread and tried to force them to fly!! Now when she looks back she realises what monstrosity she had engaged in.

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Back to School

Well, if you haven’t yet guessed, this young girl was none other than me. Today I travel back in time and reminisce, the time far, far away when life was filled with care-free abandon, frolicking in the endearing lap of nature, sometimes taking nature for granted, as it always had ample to give back. This journey into time is also a reminder that it’s important to stand together as a community, to be kind to human kind, Mother Earth and its silent inhabitants. This post is a reminder to cherish all the little blessings life has given us. This post is also a reminder that when I was growing up I wanted to live in a metropolis, and now when I live in one, I ponder over the benefits of living in natural climes, breathing fresh air every moment, and eating only healthy organic food.
This post ironically is also a reminder, to be thankful for what I have now. Though I live in a city, I stay in a location that has a good cover of greenery.

 

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Country roads take me home. My home in Pantnagar in 1990.

Life is short, so let’s celebrate it, let’s cherish whatever we are given at this point of time. I leave you now with these thoughts to celebrate life, while I treat myself to a large bowl of Burmese Khow Suey. Till I see you tomorrow with my gobsmacked G, so long!

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My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.

42 comments on “{F} is for Far Far Away #AtoZChallenge”

  1. I caught you at this post and thought I left an imprint. But obviously I didn’t. It’s always lovely to go back home….. but you never do go home do you?

  2. How wonderful to be able to go back. I grew up in many places and whenever I try and visit them, I find that the watchmen/sentries stop me and I just have to turn around and imagine what it is like now…

  3. Such a lovely piece of nostalgia Natasha. I would have loved to have lived in a hill station…it looks so beautiful and untouched. By the way, I had to laugh at your glasses in the teenage photo — they were exactly like mine when I was a kid! It’s so weird how there seemed to be only those kinds of glasses back then…the ones that covered half your face.

    Fable – One good turn

  4. What a lovely lovely story and you and your girls are so cute. Hey, Natasha! Have I told you so happy to meet you? I enjoy your posts – the simplicity in your writing and the honesty in your words <3
    Sorry for getting digressed 😉 I got to know about Pantnagar when I was appearing in engineering entrance examinations. This was about in 2000. I loved the GB Pant college and that it was a hill station. Just then Uttarakhand got separated from UP and the chance was lost. 🙁 Reading your post today, took me back to those days when I wanted to spend 4 years of my life in Pantnagar.

    • Oh yes, Nilanjana. Coldplay’s equivalent of Paradise! A classmate just went there yesterday and I have some fresh new photos off the oven. Will add them to these. 🙂

    • Oh yes, Deepa you must. I have to visit my college too which is in Lucknow. I go to Lucknow every other month, but haven’t been back to college in 20 years I suppose!

    • Thank you so much Namratha for visiting my blog and reading. 🙂 And thank you for your sweet words. I hope I made you tear up in a happy way, and triggered some happy memories as well. Love

  5. Such a beautifully nostalgic post! I often wonder about the benefits of living in a sprawling metropolis. And I often dream of living nestled in the lap of nature. But the sprawling metropolis is home for now, and I must count my blessings. 🙂

  6. It has been so beautiful growing up with you. From that day in hospital till today, we have held our hands thru thick and thin. Knowing me I don’t know if I ever said in so many words – thanks for being my friend from day 1 of your life. Love you. This is a beautiful post.

    • It’s been the BEST thing growing up with you my soul sister, my twin from another mother. 🙂 Let’s keep igniting the bond always. And let’s pledge to meet and spend more time together barring the distances. Love you eternally.

  7. Such a lovely, nostalgic trip down memory lane. The way you interwove past and present, especially with the pictures, is so telling. We all have that piece of home somewhere don’t we? Mine is in a far away land called Nairobi, Kenya, where I spent my teenage. Best memories ever.

    • Shailaja can’t wait to read your treasure trove of memories from your childhood. And given the fact that you are one incredible story teller it will be a delight to read. Please write it soon, and yes, don’t forget the bat story too!

Thank you for stopping by. Do leave your imprints as well. :-))