On popular demand, posting without checking, or photos and incomplete. Please bear with me till I complete it. :)
I got a chance to visit my ancestral home in the Himalayas in "Uttrakhand". This also gave me a chance to live, in some parts, the life of the village. I got to understand the lifestyle and the most importantly the problems that my cousins in the village face. In some ways their life is much better than ours and although they have problems, well, so do we.
Day 1: I and my brother reached Kathgodham via train, in a 7 hour journey. My parents had already reached there by car, two days back. We reached late in night and had a small dinner of dal-roti and bhindi and some local mangoes. And we slept.
Day 2: We woke up at 8 am and began our uphill journey with breakfast of alu-parathas with dahi and omelette's.We traveled the winding roads hpoing for the cool Himalayan winds, but it was hot all along the way. ...
I met my three cousins (actually I'm their mama.) My sister and my two brothers, have been living with their grandma for most of their childhood, and are now in the age group of 10-15 years old. They goto school and also work in the fields, which they enjoy. The village gossip and frequent fights for water for cultivation are their favrouite entertainment show. Though they have cable TV and a DVD player they enjoy the village gossip more and spend far more time with that. They also like to bath in the channel or river, than in the bathrooms. Overall they are fun-loving. We spend the evening getting familiar with each other and settling down. After a simple dinner of chicken curry and rotis, we went to sleep.
Day 3: next morning we woke up to the chattering of a varirty of birds and watched the fields around for most of the morning.
Then was time for the river bath, ma,pa, bro and me along with my cousin brothers went to the river(under the suspension bridge), to have a bath in the Ram Ganga. The water was cold and we only did a little swim and had a quick bath.
After that we decided to visit our fore-fathers' and grand father's home in Suran. Suran is not accessible my road and requires a minimum 3 kms treck to reach.We took the the most easy to walk path. The path has a jungle in the middle and a 3 kms walk. It's on the hill side, which is steep enough to not allow any mistakes. The peru (Dried pine leave) on the path, make it slippery and harder to walk.
Taking <> hours, we finally reached the Suran. The place looked like an abandoned village, with empty, run-down houses, empty animal sheds. We walked the narrow paths to find some residents, they were quick to remember my father, associating him with grandpa and my uncles. They were so hospitable, they offered water, tea, but since we were getting late we moved on to find our ancestral home. It's located in the bottom of the village and stands so beautifully. Although now in ruins, it does look very royal. And along the trees, it overlooks a huge valley and is so serene. We went inside to see the ruins, some possessions left by the last residents( my uncles) were to be seen. Inside was too dark and full of spiders of all sizes. We were then invited, recognized and giving water to drink by our neighbors.