Waking up early for me has been inherent by virtue of this flourishing haven and my experience staying away from this topography has never succeeded in diminishing that instinct whatsoever; indeed it is so instinctive in nature that it works like an on and off setting which sets itself in on mode anytime I am back here. Anyone in my shoes would be surprised at this fact and I’ve always embraced it as a blessing in disguise. This place which I am elucidating is none other than my home; permanently put up in a small town of picturesque state of Assam in the North East region of India. For most of you a home is a sweet home but for me my home has been a quint-essential cradle in bringing out a photographer in me. In fact it is this one place that keeps me elated and high on life.
It is very typical across Assam be it in a city or a village, people plant enough herbs and shrubs and trees in premises howsoever small the space in their yard is. In particular they have a peculiar tendency to planting trees of Beetle nut, Coconut, Amla and Olive. Also conventional to them is they hardly buy any seasonal flowers and vegetables from the market as most of these are well gardened in their proprietorial backyards. Predominantly Curry leaves, Cabbages, Cauliflower and Garlic are grown in abundance.
Similar to traditional house in Kerala, homes built in Assam have followed a traditional type of architecture well known as “Assam type house”. The house is commonly surrounded by a compound to demarcate the proprietary. People here rather prefer building an “Assam type house” than a multi-storey buildings unlike in many other cities across India where even a 600 square feet land is turned into money earning multi-story apartment. It is to underline the fact that the people of Assam prefer a cosmos of natural habitat with less human interference and artificial activities.
Stationed out of Bangalore for a mere reason of being in IT profession, I visit my home twice in a year and have made it a pattern that these two visits will be during different seasons of the year; most commonly a visit in summer followed by the next visit in winter. Besides get togethers and bonding with family and friends during such visits, I dedicatedly outline and squeeze in extra time exploring the flora and fauna around; enthralling countryside; the landscape and its backdrop which many of you in cities like Bangalore so long to come into contact with.
First thing at the crack of winter dawn, I step out of the door as an opportunist to contend with the cool breeze. The shroud of mist around our garden leisurely begins to clear while the sunlight establishes visibility of the unclouded gardens. It’s an absolutely ideal premise to nurture and harness ones hand on a camera. Primarily, I go on a survey around the garden to look over a wide variety of flowers and distinct specie of insects particularly spiders who have spawned their webs across the conservative space between these herbs. There will be sharp sprouts, florets, flower lets, rose buds and there will be full blooms like that of a Mediterranean calendula. One would be in awe especially in terms of the money we spend on buying such expensive flowers, fruits and vegetables in cities like Bengaluru. Contrastingly, our garden offers most of them and mitigates all those expenses. And I in particular am fond of clicking and shooting these flowers to an extent that I spend a whole day in the garden without a tinge of unconsent.
All this aura around our home is a corollary to the vigorous labor of my beloved father. He loved to be in that mud and dust all day burning his blood, sweat and muscle. He loved gardening very dearly and sort of made it as his hobby working around with great enthusiasm and sheer energy. As a memoir to his departed soul, may he be at peace, we have carried on his legacy so that he lives on with us to eternity in those flowers, fruits and trees of our garden. Sometimes I just walk around, talk to myself and wonder what it is like my father must have felt while he went on about his gardening and adequately creating a priceless natural apparatus around our home?
Our home has not just been a home to ourselves alone but it is grounded as a territory for many other co-dwellers ranging from discrete insects found in forests to habitual ants and spiders. The premise is seasonally teeming with many a birds and squirrels. This unique culmination of natural flora and fauna around has taught me and continues to teach me their movements, their behavior and their life cycles. In fact, when I go out to take a snap of them, they hardly care how close I venture near them. Such encounters always remind me that these species have come to terms that this habitat equally belongs to them as much it belongs to us. I need not have to travel all the way to hills and on to the countryside to get good snaps of these creatures. They offer me that free of cost right here at an armchair’s distance and that too damn good ones. Undoubtedly, they have also been one of the reasons for me evolving into an expert shooter behind a camera lens.
Many of you are a layman like me who was born and brought up in a manner of living as that of a village, completing your education primer in the vicinity; moving onto a larger town for secondary pre-university and eventually graduating from a university with a job at hand; may be get settled in another lavish country. And as time flies you start to wonder about the essence of life and what efforts you are putting into making yourself content. At the end of every week you would always find yourself in a position to part and break away from this monotonously humming atmosphere to that which promises serenity and tranquility. You often wish for a ride to the countryside that offers you fresh breath, renewed thoughts and more importantly a relaxed mind. You long to settle for a state of serene equilibrium away from the urban chaos. You try to do this often but temporarily make trips to places such as Coorg, Sakaleshpur and Chikamagalur which are at day’s visit from Bengaluru. Ultimately, serenity has become a temporary longing and chaos a permanent one without any alternatives. This must have certainly triggered in you a wish to settle down on a countryside.
So my conclusive argument is why do we decamp in the first place from such a neighborhood where we were born and brought up? There could be ample reasons to justify the trap life has set for you at this moment. Give it a thought to be pondered, the possibility of creating such an ambience where in you get the best of the both worlds; the serenity and the chaos.
A flat costing roughly around 80 lakhs is personally preferable both for dwelling and investment but all you get to deal and live with is the unavoidable urban chaos. And this at an expense of a hefty loan for close to some 30 years. Liability plus discomfort. How about expending the same money on buying a piece of land just outside the city say in the range of 10-20 kilometer away, plan your surroundings similar to that of “Hut type house” with a garden enclosing herbs, shrubs and trees. As usual you will go through the urban stuff daily while you commute to your location of profession but during weekends you are at a place you always wanted to be and longed for. And there won’t be a second thought as far as the weekend getaway is concerned until and unless it is absolutely necessary as in you wish to explore other places of interest.
I just beleive...Home is where your heart is.. Should not be measured by levels...