I was walking back from the lab yesterday and took the route via 6th main. When I turned the corner, I was hit by a solid wave of nostalgia, Mi. Of course that happens with almost every place, thanks to the wonderful walks we enjoyed together. Did I ever tell you that the corner house where we plucked hibiscus for the herbal oil was completely demolished and rebuilt? That road looks very different now with many old buildings gone and new ones in their place. In fact Vidya Mandir has another branch near Amrapali’s house. I wonder where she is now? Remember how we used to visit them and Vidur would look small standing next to her? He would call her Amruthali and it used to be so funny to watch them play together, but not with each other.

That house next to Lovett we admired so much? It is a nice cozy place with lots of trees around it. The lane leading to Oxfam is no longer a lane. That building has also been razed to the ground and a new red brick structure is emerging. Wonder whether it is residential or commercial. Oh, Lovett closed long ago. It became a dance studio on and off and now, I think it is just a residence. It seemed freshly painted. The veg vendor is still there in the corner. And oh, I saw that old veg vendor you and Vidur used to regularly buy veggies from. I laughed to think of that time when, one day, after playschool, you and he bought veggies and forgot to bring the snakegourd. When you asked him next day, he put it around Vidur’s neck and Vidur proudly carried it home that way. Can you believe that veg vendor looks almost the same, save for some salt and pepper hair? As sprightly as ever.

That aerobics studio as we approach Vidya Mandir? That building has gone, too, and a new high rise is coming up in its place. The corner plot from across it which was a wild garden with a tiny shed in the corner is now a beautiful residential building. You would have loved to see it and I can imagine us fantasizing about living there!

As I reminisced, talked to you in my head, and turned the corner into 11th, I smiled at the vegetable cart people near the turning into 7th. I bought some beans, carrots and of course, white pumpkin and headed home. Ultimately, they are the freshest and cheapest. I waved to Mahadevamma who was sitting at her usual spot, garlanding the jasmine.

By the way, 7th main road has once again been refreshed, and as I entered our building, I thought of the innumerable times we discussed taking a walk there. In the entrance to our building a new hand rest has been installed for the elderly to hold as they climb the few steps.

Our house is like a dust pan, what with the upstairs people literally rebuilding their house. All their sawdust and tile cutting dust directly seems to descend into our house via the windows. I tried keeping the windows closed but that’s not nice. Sigh!
Ironically, I am awaiting repairs in the house directly above ours.

And life goes on, Mi. Things change. People change.

And memories are all that are left.