We in the forces can only have such a treat of being woken up by the melodious tunes of a pipe band. So my house here in the cantonment, happens to be located at a place which falls in the route for the daily drill practice of the band. Wherein they play while marching in a columnar fashion. But what made my day, was the tune they played today. It is of one of the most popular songs from the hills of Kumaun, ‘Bedu Pako Bar Masa’. Although I am the breed of one of those Non Resident Kumaunis , we had quite a big community in Lucknow, where I lived the early years of my life. The morning tunes today, took me back to the memories of our gatherings back home, where the folk songs from the mountains of now known as Uttarakhand reverberated. The music transpired by the tunes of nature, reflected the purity of soul of the simple people of this region. Aptly known as ‘Devbhumi’, the tussock of faith and devotion has been home to innumerous sages and seekers of tranquility since ages. Though born and brought up in Lucknow, I have grown in the environs of the protected culture of poorvanchal. As the marching troops passed by, the fading euphony lifted the mist of the by gone times and a serene timelessness prevailed. Running down the brown hills enveloped in the dried pine leaves, me and my brother stopping in between to shout our names used to get thrilled to hear them echo back. Snuggled between the tall mountains of Bageshwar, there somewhere amidst the calm and pure serenity of nature, away from the eccentric city life, was my father’s village, ‘Kuchauli’. Located in a valley, the village was surrounded by the ethereal beauty of kumaon hills. Tall pine and deodar trees swaying to the melodies of cool and fresh mountain breeze with the majestic view of the snow caped great Himalayas in far vicinity, the place was most loved destination for our summer holidays. Enjoying the joys of simple living we used to immerse ourselves in the unspoilt routines of village life. Living in the old but very traditional houses with beautiful exteriors carved in wood, the feel was just perfect for a relaxed time rediscovering the roots of our existence. The remote rural life, rich in culture and drenched in simplicity reflected in the kind hearted people of the village. Donning their customary dresses, the smiling faces of the 'pahari' ladies welcomed every passing by traveler. The sumptuous meal cooked on the slow wooden flames out of the muddy stove made it taste the best ever in the world. The cold water of the mountain streams, the step farming on the hills, the absolutely stunning clear night skies, all this and much more bundled up together, made this place a perfect antidote to the atrocities of this frenetic world. Drawn back from the yesteryear to this day again with the sweet voice of my younger one, the memories singing the tunes of nature which looked so far, though farther in the time lane are actually farthest in real time as the village worst hit by the brain drain stays abandoned by the young generation. An abode becomes beautiful when it has such people living there but here the village had lost its charm when I visited it three years ago as it lay deserted with people moving out in search of higher education and job. Moving ahead in life is good but if villages get desolated like this and we move away from our genesis then what are we preserving for our future?
SNAP SHOTS FROM A VILLAGE KNOWN AS KUCHAULI
|Our ancestral house amidst the beautiful Pine trees|
The village settled in the mystic valley
The majestic view of the Great Himalayan ranges