Flowers of my Childhood

These Rangoon Creepers or Madhu Malti flowers are deeply ingrained in my childhood memories of my grandfather’s house! Playing with these flowers, making necklaces,earrings, bracelets ! Sometimes even sucking out their nectars excitedly before we made our master art pieces and flaunted around, in the house all day along in summer holidays of May and June when rest of the cousins also gathered and we all made a cock a hoop about it.
The creeper was planted by my father, I think I inherited my love for greenery from him.It grew over the years from staircases up until the Edges of verandah of the first floor kept as residence and the ground floor was for vocation. As children we hopped, jumped , skipped the stairs sometimes one, sometimes two of the poor old stairway whose cement was chipping away with our incessant nonchalant self invented games. We almost slept on these stairs making it difficult for family members to pass by. I have clear memories of my father working in the workshop always shouting at Pappu and Afzal to move their hands faster, the two apprentices who never graduated and remained apprentices for life. My grandfather calm as usual , sitting in his office which constituted of a takht( long broad bench like a single bed) set with an office table with his essentials and writing something in his notebook, he always used fountain pens and I always awed at his handwriting.
The weekend was much awaited to have a leisurely breakfast of Hot melting in Mouth Jalebis from Babu Ram Halwai whose shop was at a stone’s throw and the famous Daal served in pattal (disposable plates made of dried leaves). It is still a great breakfast combination in Moradabad. The weekend also meant blaring doorbell ringing at ground floor and someone from first floor needs to go and open the doors. It was usually the kids who were sent for the job.
We couldn’t have minded had it been once or twice a day but it was once or twice every hour and each time someone leaves, the doors needs to be closed as well. It was two sets of wooden doors that needed to be opened and closed by vertical kundi(latch) on first one and a horizontal kundi(latch) on second door.
The Rusty smell of those latches, old door knobs, the scent of flower’s, the sweltering heat, the boiling water from tanks, the long days, watering the plants, the cooling of floor by sprinkling water, the cool touch of moon on the chandnis(white bedsheets) spread out on the beds in open, still beckon me and how I would go back in time just to open those doors as many times without complaining to see my childhood summer and my grandfather Writing in his notebook one more time.

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Book Review: Begum and Dastaan by Tarana Husain Khan

Book Review Time

Begum and Dastaan by Tarana Husain Khan

Loved it , Totally recommend it. Thanks to the Author for writing this. You got me home through this book, the roads , monuments, and paths of my childhood, stories I grew up with, the language,food. Everything made me so nostalgic of Rampur I grew up in.

Book plot:
It’s a historical fiction based on life of a Nawab Shams of Royal Estate of Sherpur( names changed here) in India who was notorious for his debauchery, he was kidnapping young, beautiful girls and even married women and putting them in his Harem forcibly.
One such unlucky women was Feroza who was strong, defiant, determined and gave Nawab some tough time.
There is also a parallel story of Dantangoi ( story telling) ongoing by Kallan Dantango which is a fantasy story inspired by real life events at that time and a contemporary timeline story of Ameera who is great granddaughter of Feroza .

The scene setting , description , narration is on point, very well researched.

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