Ubermensch asked me to pick one photograph (snapped in 2 0 0 7) which occupies a special place in my heart, and I did just that. As you can see, I have put up two snaps instead of one. Of course, I have very good reasons to bend the rules of this meme (btw, I sill don't know the real meaning of this word. Just keep hearing it in blogosphere. Never heard anyone in real life using this word while talking. I am not too fond of learning words which don't figure in everyday conversation).
Okay, so why two pics ? It's because one would be incomplete without the other. The blue house belongs to my mum. Most of my school vacations were spent in this house. My visits to our native place became less frequent after my grandmother passed away. She was the nucleus of the joint family, with her being the lone survivor amongst the first generation dwellers of this house. After her, the house got divided in fractions (as it happens with most 2nd generation households). This November, I went there after almost 10 to 12 years. The house is now in a progressive stage of decay. It doesn't feel like a unified unit now. The people staying there appear to me as mere cohabitants and not family members. I didn't stay there this time round. Just visited as a guest, snapped few photographs for posterity, exchanged few "Ohhh those were the days" kind of conversation and walked away like a stranger, totally bereft of any feelings. With the passage of time, I don't know if it's me who has died a little or whether the charm, that this house once possessed, has vanished. I didn't feel anything. And to think, there was a time when we cried unabashedly (all 3 of us - me, my sis & mum) while boarding the bus, heading back to Mumbai, after a month long vacation.
Coming to the 2nd pic, this rather dour looking house with reddish brown facade belongs to my dad. I don't have many memories associated with this house. As you can see, it's quite modest compared to the sprawling house of my mum. Naturally ,we preferred staying at our mum's place more than at dad's place. My grandparents from dad's side passed away while I was still a toddler. After them, this house has more or less been locked up. My dad had spruced up the house with the hopes of staying there after retirement. But along with retirement, came the usual set of ailments which prevented him from realising his one final dream. In May 2005, he spent about a week or two in this house. Within 2 months after returning from that trip, he passed away. It would have been nice if he had had more time to re-connect with the place where he grew up as a kid.
Anyways, this is what makes these 2 pics very special for me. These are my roots.
p.s. : I am bit uncomfortable with the whole passing-the-tag-business, so I won't name anyone in particular to take this thing forward. But, please feel free to be inspired by this concept and put up a special photograph from your own 2007-collection. It's that time of the year, when its perfectly acceptable to indulge in a bit of nostalgia. Don't worry I've got a box of tissues ready, just in case..