Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 02:36:13 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Ooty’s right here: A trip down memory lane

How does it feel to find a piece of one’s old self in the middle of everyday life?

How does it feel to find a piece of one’s old self in the middle of everyday life?
photo by

By
29th-Sep-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Zainab Sulaiman :
As children, we spent our summers between Ooty and Hyderabad - one cool, pleasant and infused with the fragrance of flowers, another hot and dry, but rich with history, its rocky terrain and giant boulders striking a note of other-worldliness in my childlike imagination.
And so, for the longest time, I've wanted to buy a place of my own in Ooty, and in Hyderabad too, one day - an old whitewashed home with a flat roof and a large courtyard, where in the old days we would pull out our cots swathed in mosquito nets to sleep under the stars as the cool, night breeze brought exquisite relief after the heat of the day; a day most often spent reading Famous Fives perched on flimsy guava trees, occasionally reaching out to bite into an unsweetened, hard guava that felt like a piece of heaven between my small, sharp teeth. But those days are gone forever. My mother now lives in a quiet part of the Old City, where every once in a while, though, one stumbles across a cul-de-sac that hints of the mysteries of the past, or chances upon a decrepit mosque with a creamy-crocheted turret, and one realises that this must suffice, must be enough.
But Ooty still holds out as an elusive but attainable dream; something to save for, to yearn for. Until recently. The other day, when I was driving to work along Ulsoor Road in Bangalore, which is usually jammed with traffic at most hours except if you leave early enough, I passed a huge overrun plot of land belonging to the Red Cross. I'd never noticed it before even though this is one of the roads I'm most familiar with. Maybe, it's because there are so few of these grand, sprawling patches left anymore that I suddenly take notice. Or maybe, with the passing of time, as our inward stories become less compelling, less important, we become less important; we struggle to understand our role in the bigger scheme of things, and open our hearts to the beautiful world around us.
The ground is dotted with colonial-style buildings that are falling apart, their brick facades faded to a sentimental reddish-brown. Broken window frames allow yellow-blossomed creepers in and a line-up of silver oak and mast trees stand guard alongside the low wall that separates the land from the pavement. An old dog sits bathing in the soft sun beside an equally old watchman, already half asleep in a wooden chair placed near the gate. "Trespassers will be prosecuted" the sign says, in defiance of these stalwart caretakers.
A giant African tuliptree (Spathodea campanulata) lies sprawled on the ground in the distance - it has probably tumbled over one stormy night and no one has bothered to take it away as the property looks unused. What is amazing, though, is that the tree is still flowering, even as it lies on the carpet of green, its flame-red tulips lapping up the mild morning sun that shines into my car and makes me screw my eyes up a little, but not tight enough, to miss the spray of pink and white bougainvillea that festoons another old brick wall opposite. Lines of white paint demarcate each brick into neat slabs of happiness, and I suddenly realise, Ooty is here. It was here all along; I just never saw it. n
(Zainab Sulaiman is an author and special educator, who now leads HR at a sports company in Bangalore)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Eid Mubarak


THE rituals of the annual congregation of Muslims in the holiest city Mecca to perform the religious obligatory have begun with devotion, piety, and cheer that ended into Eid-ul-Azha. The Eid comes to the life of 1.5 billion adherents of Islam when a majority of the followers are undergoing political ...

Sports »

Djokovic wins Cincy title to complete Masters matched set


AFP, Cincinnati :Novak Djokovic ended a career-long jinx, lifting the trophy in Cincinnati at last to complete a matched set of Masters 1000 titles.Djokovic, who came up empty in five prior Cincinnati finals, defeated seven-time winner Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4 in the final.The former world number one became the first ...

Entertainment »

Rawnak and Urmila in play ‘Boro Bol Chhoto Bol’ on Channel i at 7:50pm before Eid day


.

City »

Law enforcers seen to cheque documents of the motorized vehicles to ensure safe road. The snap was taken from in front of the city's Rajdhani Super Market on Monday.


.

International »

Indians begin massive cleanup as rains diminish in Kerala


Reuters, Kochi :Indian health authorities prepared defenses against the spread of disease in flood-hit Kerala state on Monday as water receded and a huge clean-up gathered pace after the worst floods in a century killed more than 200 people.Incessant rain since Aug. 8 in the southern state has swelled rivers ...

Editorial »

Growing violence in hills: No serious investigation into the killings


Seven people, including three leaders of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF), were killed and six others injured in two gun attacks in Khagrachhari town on Saturday. With these, 33 people have so far been killed in violence in Rangamati and Khagrachhari this year. The UPDF alleged that it was a ...

Football »

Messi, Coutinho get Barcelona off to winning start


AFP, Madrid :Two goals from Lionel Messi either side of a Philippe Coutinho strike allowed Barcelona to start their defence of the Spanish title with a 3-0 win over Alaves at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.Wearing the captain's armband following the departure of Andres Iniesta to Japan, Messi stepped ...

Entertainment »

I like to do something that challenges me: Jennifer Winget


Bepannaah actress Jennifer Winget likes to challenge herself with each of her projects. “I like to do something that challenges me. I like to do something different from my previous characters,” Jennifer told IANS. “I have been fortunate enough to be offered characters and projects that challenge me and that ...

City »

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon speaking at a gathering of cleaners on quick disposal of wastes of sacrificial animals yesterday.


.

International »

Russian President Putin steals the show at Austrian FM`s wedding


Reuters, Vienna :Russian President Vladimir Putin danced arm-in-arm with Austria's foreign minister Karin Kneissl at her wedding on Saturday, after receiving an invitation that opposition critics said undermined the West's stance against Moscow.Mr Putin arrived in a car carrying a bouquet of flowers and accompanied, local media said, by a ...

Editorial »

Sanctions by USA and European Union are welcome but more effective measures will be needed


IN the latest development, the US Treasury on Friday slapped sanctions on four Myanmar military and police commanders and two army units for involvement in "ethnic cleansing" and other human rights abuses against the country's Rohingya minority. In response to Myanmar's crackdown on the Rohingyas, the sanctions are so far ...

Sports »

Bolt arrives in Australia on football quest


Usain Bolt says he's deadly serious about becoming a professional footballer and plans to show the world what he's capable of after arriving in Australia Saturday for a trial stint with an A-League club.The superstar athlete has been given the chance to prove his worth by the Central Coast Mariners, ...

Entertainment »

Sonali Bendre`s son posts an emotional message


Family and close friends of Bollywood actress Sonali Bendre have come out as the biggest support in her journey of fighting cancer. The actress who has been diagnosed with high-grade cancer is undergoing her treatment in New York. Being a true fighter, Sonali has not shied away from sharing her ...

Entertainment »

Poet Shamsur Rahman's 12th death anniversary observed


Entertainment Desk : The 12th death anniversary of Shamsur Rahman, one of the major poets in modern Bengali literature, was observed on Friday in a befitting manner.Marking the anniversary, different socio-cultural organisations placed wreaths at the grave of the poet at Banani graveyard and arranged Doa Mahfil.Jatiya Kabita Parishad and Kabi ...

City »

BNP Vice-Chairman Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossain speaking at a discussion on 'Next National Election Under Interrogation Without Reform of Election Commission' organised by 'Chetona Bangladesh' at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news