Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Summer in India

There in the north of India flow two very sacred rivers named Ganga and Yamuna. At the confluence of these two ancient yet alive rivers, lies a city called Allahabad. You could call Allahabad a deep-sea pearl in the waters of the civilization called India. Very beautiful, very rich.

Here, in this city of Allahabad lived a young girl named Prachi। She was beautiful and she was just eighteen with a bustling desire to live. Prachi’s father was a well known physician. Her mother was a homemaker - a bundle of joy and love on the move.

Prachi had a brown complexion, well chiseled face and she carried a thoughtful smile. Her father’s insistence on maintaining good health made her grow into a toned up figure.

This was the month of May. She had just got her twelfth standard results and she was looking forward to enjoying her summers. She had appeared for medicine entrance exams, and if it all went as planned; she would start her studies in a medical college in July this year, though, she was not averse to taking a year off with her aunt in Shimla and learn dance from her.

The sky looked red…a summer storm might be approaching. The months of May and June in Allahabad had this unique feature of north Indian summers. Prachi was sitting in the first-floor balcony of her house. There was a palm tree right in front and the boundary walls of her house had shrubs lined up along them. The summer storm subsided after a while. The temperatures came down and there was a small shower. The earth smelled sweet. Prachi felt like humming – “बरसो रे बादल ... जरा झूम के बरसो ! (Baraso re baadal…jara zhoom ke baraso! - O clouds bring rains…O clouds, dance and rain!).

The evening became pleasant. For a while Prachi thought what to do. She felt like going to the Yamuna bank. At Yamuna bank there was an old Ghaat (wide stairs leading to the river waters) named Saraswati Ghaat. There was a banyan tree, an old Hanuman (from the story of Lord Rama) temple. Morning and evening prayers were held without fail. Adjacent to Ghaat was an old fort – The Akbar Fort. A wall of the fort had collapsed and leaned over the river waters. It was fun to be sitting at the edge of the leaning wall. Prachi picked her purse and called up her friend Uma to give her company. Uma agreed readily. The girls rode their scooter to the river bank. The breeze passed by…it was feeling great. There was the roar of an aircraft flying over in the skies. The life offered a flight of imagination and the two young hearts were keen to dream...

Uma wanted to sit close to the edge of the leaning wall, however, Prachi desisted from doing so. The waters were deep right below the wall. It was silence spread all aound with the temple bells ringing once in a while. Sun was on the setting course. Uma asked, "Would you come to Lucknow this weekend?" Prachi said, "No."

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