So, field practicum placement over, report submitted, even grade received.
Back in the campus and in the city that never pauses, Gadchandur seems a far far distance away, another world almost. A world that feels almost like a dream one woke up from...with the edges of detail blurred and smudged a bit.
And why not, the love and warmth, the endless cups of tea offered and consumed, the innocent, soul-baring smiles and laughter of Gadchandur cannot be in the same age and time as the constant push and pull of life, the mutual distrust of people, and the dirty looks from co-passengers in the local trains of this great metropolis.
An eye-opener and a turning point, the time spent in and around Gadchandur, is by far, one of the most cherished and most exciting memories of my 28 years on the planet.
Never once falling short of love or goodwill, cooperation or trust, emotion or friendliness; I was in Gadchandur, happier than I was as a rent-paying vermin in Mumbai, and that changed me forever. I think it messed with my head in ways I don't understand fully now, but that have Gadchandur-ed me in to something better, happier, and more thankful for life and all its myriad and colorful gifts that make my life unbelievably amazing!!
A supari (betelnut) trader and tobacco products supplier who would hide his 'kharra' (chewing tobacco) packets when he saw me, for a landlord; a Maharashtrian woman, who would cook and relish rajma (kidney beans) for the Punjabi in me, for a landlady; endless kids with runny noses and ready homework questions for the 'doctor didi' for neighbours; enthusiastic men and women who would drop off food, snacks, and sometimes even me from the bus stand, for colleagues; what a blessed time!!
Some of the pictures (as uploaded above) manage to just take me back to some place in time that I left a part of me at.....It is difficult to say which one is more difficult..to take away Gadchandur from me or me from Gadchandur but one thing's for sure...some 'jodis' (couples) truly are made in the heavens above :)