Some Sunday mornings come draped in nostalgia of a time gone by and then they leave you craving for something that doesn’t exist anymore. One such morning, I woke up to the thought of Aalu Parathas and loads of home-made butter. Sometimes, I dwell in the past long enough to let go of good things, and this is one such childhood memory which keeps coming back – oversleeping on a Sunday morning, just to get up in time for Jungle Book, and enjoying my aalu-paratha with lots of butter as Mowgli sets off for yet another adventure. Craving for the past gets the better of me, and sometimes, I tread unknown paths just to see if they can bring me a story I can share. But, there was no story here this time, just the love of parathas and butter as I set off towards Murthal on a summer Sunday morning.
The drive towards my destination was an uneventful one but frequently intercepted with thoughts of how strong I felt, driving on that highway, in this big bad world. Owning a car and learning to drive has added another facet to the strong independent woman image, and the feeling can not really be described in words. It’s strange that this is the first time I am writing about it though it’s been almost a year and a half I’ve been experiencing it -Women Empowerment being the overpowering mood of the day!
Ghee laden aalu-parathas with lots of butter, dahi and glassfuls of lassi later, I decided to not head home. Instead, I remembered a Facebook post by a friend who found sunflower fields in full bloom, some seventy kilometers from Murthal. There was no looking back as I put on the maps and drove away, in search of sunflowers. Sooner than reaching the fields, my thoughts reached back to a time when summer vacations were for real. It was yet another trip down memory lane when we used to spot sunflower fields in the un-named villages of Uttar Pradesh from the windows of a rickety Gomti Express to New Delhi. I had always wanted to get down, touch and smell the flowers, check if the plants are taller than me. Finally, this was my day, after waiting all these years.
I drove away from Murthal in anticipation of a perfect instagram post, wishing the sun be merciful so I could get good shots. But then life had other plans. As soon as I spotted a farm full of flowers, I realised that my camera was still lying at home. I guess I forgot taking it along for good. A long walk by the sides of the field, with sunflowers swaying along with the wind and not a care in the world – I went back to being my eleven year old self for a while. And I realised that the plants were really taller than me!
Though nothing fancy, this was a childhood fantasy come true for a city girl like me, whose heart still longs for all things old-school.