A trip back in time will definitely take me to a day in Harda. It’s a tiny town at the heart of Madhya Pradesh. Unnoticeable railway station, shabby outdoors, pathetic roads, and yet an amazingly calm and earthly demeanor that makes you feel at home.
I first met this place on a wet day. Me and my brother were to appear for an entrance test at our first convent school. It was tough – for English was never our forte. They kept talking to us in that foreign language all the while getting us to appear for tests in Mathematics, Science, and English. I don’t remember the marks I scored then, but the principal seemed pretty satisfied with however we had performed. I remember dad buying our books, notebooks, and our uniforms from their stationery shop. I remember the parking, the church, buildings under construction, ducks, birds, green color of the wet trees, incessant rain, and the hooting from the trains passing by the nearby railway station.
By the time, we completed the admission formalities, we got late and dad decided to buy us dinner from a nearby market. I remember us searching for food throughout the town in that rain. The rain, the rain, I just can’t get that rain out of my head. It just never drizzled. It poured all day so hard and with such ferocity, it forced shopkeepers to stay in and finding an eatery was hard. After much search though, we found a street side vendor selling CHAAT and GOLGAPPE (Pani Puri) in a deserted street.
GOLGAPPE – ones that I was going to remember for all my life. Now to let all of you in on what GOLGAPPE are all about, let me show you a picture and the procedure on how they are served –
These are served with a filling made from potatoes and peas and later filled with tangy tamarind or mango water. You then put the whole thing at one go inside your mouth and let it blast inside, leaving a heavenly taste on your tongue and on the cheek walls. Now, these are so thin, they tend to sog even with mild moisture in the air and that day, it was pouring. So to add some taste to them, he added hot fillings, off the stove. There were no potatoes, only peas and I’m yet to taste anything like that till date. Somehow he had added magic.
When we returned though, all I remember having was a rather unwelcome feeling of separation!
What I’d like to visit from that day again –
1. The GOLGAPPE.
2. The railway station.
3. That rain.
4. That school compound.
5. I’d like to know the marks I scored in my English test.
What I’d like to skip on my next visit –
Lets see what others have for this prompt –
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