Showing posts with label shimla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shimla. Show all posts

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gramophone Days

"Rusty noticed the sounds because he was happy and a happy person notices things."

There is a gramophone that has been lying here in shimla for I don't know how long, lets just say it's been around for many many years. But yesterday was the first time I ever heard music from it. 

We dusted it and placed it in the middle of the room, then very patiently took out all the records lying in the cupboard. Just reading some of the titles and holding things so old made my heart so full with joy. There were old urdu songs and qawwalis, old punjabi and urdu comedy records, Mohammad Rafi songs, some cliff richards tracks and I was so thrilled when I found an old Beatles one which had eight days a week on it.  

We sat for an hour or so, all on the drawing room carpet, experiencing something that was probably the a routine part of lives some years ago. This is what I love about history. When you scale it down, forget civilisations and cultural patterns, focus how one life lived, how they stood where we are at the present standing, what they must have felt viewing the same things we are. I love this one on one, this immediate connection that forms when you see something so old. 
A little part of that history becomes us and lives on longer through us. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Traditional Children's Fiction

There is this book, it's the loveliest book. It permanently lives here and has traditional fairy tales from all over the world.
It has African stories, Greek legends, Norwegian tales, Anderson stories and of course Grimms' Fairy tales and so many more! My dad had gifted this to my sister and me back in 1996 and it has suffered quite a lot over the years.

Whenever I come here I have to read these stories in bed before sleepy time, even though I'm too old for them . My favourite is 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses' by the Grimm brothers. This book has better stories in it with more fantastical plots and creatures but for some reason I love this one dearly. 

It is about 12 princesses whose father is really confused as to why their dancing slippers are worn through every night. He has to get new ones everyday. He sends out word all throughout the kingdom, anyone willing was asked to try find out where the girls went at night. They were given three days for the task, having accomplished it they would win the hand of anyone of the girls that he wished but if he failed his head would be cut off (naturally).  

So of course many come and then their heads are cut off because the princesses give them a sleeping wine. But one man with the help of an invisibility cloak figures out their secret. Their secret includes a trapdoor bed, a walk through a forest filled with trees of silver, gold and diamond and dancing the night away at a banquet with 12 princes till their shoes are all worn out. 

I guess the reason I love it so much is that there is no evil in this one at all. It's just merry dancing! And their is nothing better than that in this world. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Shimla will always be home

I'm home! My mum and I have managed to find two weeks to come and spend it here in Shimla. We've been coming here for all summer holidays for as long as I can remember since my grandparents have a home here.

And this is the view from one side of home. I admit that Shimla doesn't look this devoid of human existence as the picture above. It is pretty commercial now but the photo is just 2 years old. (plus I took it very strategically :)

Usually we all come here together and help my nani (maternal grandma) to clean up the house and have everything up and running. But this time it's just mum and me. We have been given our instructions, let the cleaning begin!

There are curtains to change, pillow covers to remove, dusting to do, loos to clean etc etc. And though this house feels empty without hearing chatter and laughter, not seeing somebody nap in a room or fight over how many peaches they ate, I am not sad. (not completely) Because company is arriving in a few days, some friends are coming for a week and I'm getting excited just thinking of everything that we're going to do.

There are going to be afternoon walks, lovely things to eat, board games to play and my special favourite is watching episodes of the Sherlock Holmes as played by Jeremy Brett.

Well this has been quite a personal post hasn't it! I must leave you and go eat dinner but hopefully I will be able to post more tomorrow with pictures!