One Night Stand

with GONDS

On the way to my ancestral farmhouse, passing from Dhanoli village in Maharashtra, I spotted a house where this person lived who used to work in our farms many years back. I remembered that whenever l had met him in past, he would invite me to his home. So, this time while crossing this area, I visited his place. When he and his wife saw me, they were surprised and overwhelmed at “the same time. Since my childhood whenever l visited my farmhouse, they would see me. They had seen me growing up in all these years. As they received me “with disbelief, l could see deep affection in their eyes. Uncle rushed to the well” “to fetch water, washed my feet and hands and took me inside.

They made me sit on a wooden charpai and they both excused themselves to another room. I understood that they did not have anything to of fer me to eat. So she sent uncle to the market to get something. Meanwhile she made tea for me, asked about my parents and started telling me how l was as a child. When uncle came b ack, he had one b ag in hand, which he gave to aunty and declared apologetically to me, “time lag gaya, market door hai”.

It was early evening so he took out another charpai and made my bed in the open and said smilingly, “aaj yahi rukna hai aapko . ” l nodded in agreement. lt was a too loving an invite to refuse. Saying this, he gestured that he was going to” get veggies from the farm I decided to tag along.

When we came back, I crashed on the charpai and don’ t know when lfell asleep. I got up with aunty’s call, “khana kha lo “. She had cooked bhindi.Clearly, she” still remembered bhindi was my all-time favourite vegetable.
While having dinner, we spoke about the machaan in the farm. I insisted on spending the night there. They were not open to the idea but l convinced them eventually. Next morning, I woke up with chirping of a flock of parrots around the machaan. I brushed with some coal, tried goat-milk tea and spent time with” their grand child who was about 12 years old. After that uncle took me to the farm to pick some vegetables so that I could carry them home. While leaving, I clicked a few pictures of them and promised a frame of those pictures in the next visit I left with some beautiful memories of childhood and lots of gratitude.

By the way, I was lucky that I could send them their framed pictures” just as i promised.

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