Connecting to my roots….

26 Jan
Behti hawa sa tha woh…udhti patang sa tha woh…kahan gaya usse dhundo….

Bungalow No B-7

Humming my way through the rock strewn bylanes of Choudwar towards Titagarh Paper Mill, I was already feeling mighty nostalgic about traversing the very roads my mother must have as a kid. A group of kids playing gully cricket suddenly caught my attention and I waved out wildly to them. A scrawny young lad raised both his hands and half a leg in response much to my amusement.The rest of the gang continued to play much to my consternation.But that eventually gave away to the excitement of  finally reaching the gates of the TPM colony. My friend who was accompanying me, stopped the car, and we got out to speak to the security in charge who was a little hesitant in allowing us inside. Finally after some amount of persuasion and armed with the knowledge that I was the Chief Engineer R.K Choudhury’s natuni (grandaughter) , we were allowed to step into the campus  in the company of another security officer.

As we entered, I could distinctly feel my mother’s voice ringing in my ears. She always used to come up with “Ama Choudwar re” meaning humare choudwar mein….and all of us used to be like…not again!! But at this point, I missed her saying all that. The security officer on hearing my grandfather’s name immediately quipped , “Oh,Choudhary Babu..siye toh B-7 re rahuthile…asantu asantu, mu neijauchi” (Oh Choudhury Babu used to stay in Bungalow B-7,I will take you in). Since the mill had closed down in 2003, the entire area of 500 acre was unkempt, with overgrown thorny bushes almost covering the once well maintained roads. We crossed the dispensary, with the “DIS” almost wiped out and the “RY” hideously covered with traces of limestone dust.An old dusty open jeep was parked in front which apparently carried sick people from their respective houses.Next,we crossed a host of well spaced  bungalows which were scattered on either side of the road.

While I was busy scanning the name plates in front of each bungalow, the security officer shouted out, “That’s B-7” . We stopped and walked in. The servant quarters were neatly lined up towards one side and the garage with its rusty asbestos roofing was visible next. The sight of the peach coloured bungalow,slightly peeled off at a few places, with its criss-crossed grilling across the windows swept a wave of nostalgia over me.A rusty Mobaj lock held on precariously to the front door and though I could only afford a sneak peak, I thought of my mother talking about how airy n spacious the bungalow was and how they never had to switch off the lights

Looking in through a broken window

and fans,because they had free electricity at their disposal…how they always had the luxury of  home made jams and jellies,how they managed to throw people into the holi tanks,about movies being screened every Sunday in the local club,about the badminton matches and the indoor games,about the exciting tambola games, about how they used to board the ferry each day to reach the other side of the river so that the bus could then take them to school, anecdotes of one of my mausis‘ falling asleep as soon as she touched the bus(hence bagging the title”The Sleeping Beauty”) and another one throwing away her food so that she wouldn’t be reprimanded at home for not finishing it.Boy!!It seemed like all that she had ever told me suddenly came alive, as if the yesteryears were unfolding themselves yet again, so that I could capture and savour every morsel of it,till I had my fill!

Didi,ferry ghat chalantu“, the security officer said.That took me out of my reverie and I looked around for one last time, before we proceeded to the banks of the river Mahanadi. As I manoeuvred my way through the thorny stretches of grass towards the steps that led to the banks, I looked up and saw the lopsided moon peeping through the dark green branches of the banyan

The moon peeping through the carelessly scattered branches

tree.The endless stretch of water ahead painted with hues of crimson and orange and the thought of my mom walking down these steps left me with a smug smile and the feeling of wanting to come back to this very spot with my kids!Coming back to your roots can do strange things to you!


Posted by on January 26, 2010 in As I see it


36 responses to “Connecting to my roots….

  1. Arun

    January 26, 2010 at 6:29 am

    wow! Somewhere in the middle I felt like I was reading Chetan Bhagat. You are an excellent narrator shruti. BTW I’m still trying to picture the guy with both hands and half a leg raised 😉

  2. Chirag

    January 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

    A pretty nostalgic one….nicely written…

  3. Varun

    January 26, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    picturesque! lovely!

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 1:43 pm

      @ Chirag: wouldn’t have been possible without you dear!
      @ arun: Thanx a should have seen it..was weirdly amusing
      @ varun: Thanx for giving me the “pen and paper” to pen it down 🙂

  4. Sambit

    January 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    SimPLy Soul WInnIng…………..somebody inform BBC world……Abt Shruti…………she is a MIndblowin…..Writer………….HAts offf buddy………

  5. Bhadra

    January 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    hey tht wz amazingly beautiful….u sud share ur experience wth evryone of d family….n agreein to Chirag bhai, very very nicely written….

  6. sid

    January 26, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    awesome 🙂

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm

      @ Sid Bhai n Sambit : Thanx a lot!
      @ Bhadra: yea I probably will in due course 🙂 n thats my friend Chirag n not Chirag Bhai!

  7. Hima

    January 26, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Life has turned busy for each one of us… The awesome moments with our family and actually getting to relive the memories of our roots is the best gift we can ever ask.. Hats off to u shruti.. Expressed it beautifully as if i was right there beside u and feeling the aura around with the nuances of time past… 🙂 Ur family, espaunty would really love to read this.. grt wrk done yaar.. Keep rocking and spreading the smile.. 🙂 🙂

  8. Shivani thakur

    January 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    wel al i cn say is dat its realy touchy…..a child is closest to its mother n u hv writen dis so beautifully…..truly wonderful..

  9. Abhilash

    January 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    ok here it goes its gud no doubt but as of now q8 amateurish..d previous one bout ur feelings n all was a bettr pik infct..neva mind kip up d wrk coz u don have ne thng else 2 do..1 thng sumwer among all d commnts i found sum1 comparng u 2 bhagat.he he u kno dats shear flattery n i don do dat..:P 4 more tips bout proper usage of wrds n blog writtn feel free 2 nudge me ne happy blogging..

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 8:00 pm

      Thanx 4 the “nethn else to do” part…u wait till u meet me next..ur dead meat 4 sure!!

  10. Payoja

    January 26, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Amazingly beautiful 1 Shruti…so ur staying awake ws worth…[:-*]

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      @ Payoja:Thanx…..yeah it totally was 😛
      @ Shivani:Thanx sweetheart!
      @ Hima:You bet its the best gift I could have ever asked for 🙂

  11. Varun

    January 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    1. Pehle din hi itne comments. Badhiya hai!!
    2. Chetan Bhagat’s books are not worth the paper they are printed upon.
    3. Now don’t stop yahin pe. The ‘pen and paper’ shouldn’t go extinct now.

  12. shrutiparija

    January 26, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    @ Varun
    1.Dhanyawaad…coming from a pro that is
    2.Some of Bhagat’s books are good.Loved 2 states…
    3.Will try not to let the tempo die down 🙂

  13. Niharika

    January 26, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    very nostalgic and very touchy……..luved to read it…..keep going………

  14. Reene

    January 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Dear shruti,
    so well written, and thanks for writing it, it really made my day, Good girl and job well done, and all those stories, how true, and how wonderful and fun and unique days we had as a childhood, much to everybody’s envy, i could say!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOVE it, and keep it up, and keep writing.
    reene mausi

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Thanz a lot for posting your comment Reene mausi…you made my day by reading it.dunno to what extent I have managed to capture the Choudwar of your days but I must say I’ve wished for the zillionth time that I could grow up in a household like that 🙂
      Love you loadds too…..

  15. sumeet anand

    January 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    yaar kab se ye shauk……….
    aise tu itne dino se gayab thi na tabhi mujhe lag gaya tha ki kuch to naya karne wali hai.Its really awesome and very touchy……..
    Impressed……..what else is hidden within you ?????????

    • shrutiparija

      January 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      Shauk toh yaar kabse tha…bas postpone karti rehti thi….thanz waise 🙂
      baaki toh yaar m an open book….hidden ka scope hi nahin hai 😛

  16. deebashree

    January 27, 2010 at 10:16 am

    According to a famous quotation – There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other is wings.(Hodding Carter). Can say that you have indeed connected to your roots and how!

    A blog, such as this one, written direct dil se with anecdotes that take you back in time is what qualifies as a good read – and thanks to you, shruti, i have been treated to one… Little doubt, this will remain with me for sometime to come

    To say that i am proud of you and that this is truely a wonderful, wonderful blog will just not be enough…

  17. Sambit

    January 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    ShrUti’s Thoughts…..RooTS UnLEashed……….

  18. saurabh

    January 29, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    i dnt think..i need to praise u for this..already each n evry complimnt has been acknowledged to you..none left for me!
    u connected everyone to your roots!
    keep going!

  19. Ankit Sharma

    February 15, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Simply Superb !!!!!!!!!

  20. Avanti

    March 16, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Hi. I have lived there too. we moved out of Orissa in 2001. My father worked in the BILT paper Mill at that time. I was feeling nostalgic and randomly googled for Choudwar paper mill. and I saw a picture of one of the bungalows we lived in. If i remember correctly it WAS B-7. feels funny. i think choudwar has a way of turning people into writers.
    I have spent about 9 years of my life there.

    • Shruti Parija

      March 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Hello.I can understand the amusement in your read.I have never stayed in Choudwar. My mum has.So you write as well?

  21. Avanti

    April 28, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    i am trying to yes.

  22. geeta mohanty (@Geeta1803)

    July 9, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    shruti can i put this very well written write up on the page TPMK KIDS

    • Shruti Parija

      July 9, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Sure Pipi Mausi. I would really like that. Thanks 🙂

  23. sanjana

    July 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Shruti apa very will written!!


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