Chandni Chauk to China…

Alright, this post has got nothing to do with the movie. It just suits my story that is all. The story starts many many years back……when I was a little kid.

My elder cousin was a huge part of my small dream world then. He was the kind of fairy tale hero that I always looked up to! His study books and that ear banging music that I never had heard before! His room that smelled of books and books and more books….

His friends that looked like uncles to poor little me! The mock fights in which he patiently took all the beating my tiny bony fists fed him!

He had some unreasonable faith that I was very intelligent kid and that I understood his talk very much! I never broke that faith, I was wise enough to make a serious face and listen to him very obediently! Though, now I don’t know what that great philosophy was, that I had easily understood then!

I don’t remember much except the warm smell of books when I think of him….. Every time I am in a library or a bookstore…surrounded with many many yellowing books….the smell always takes me back to my brother….

Sooner I grew up (like all kids do!) ….got busy with my school and forgot most of my brother worship….the fairy tale had no space in my busy homework schedule.

Years later I realised that now he was way to far…..out of my reach….the story was a story after all….not real….

His life had his own pace and my life had mine….. He was in US and I was here in India. From then on what I have of him are those short vague memories of his brusque visits back home…

Two years back was one such recollection….

And I saw my brother…..alive from the vague stories of my childhood….. He was different….almost a stranger…..

The whole family had come together….like all Indian families we love to come together and……eat! And here comes chandni chauk in the picture.

(Mostly chandni chauk takes you to Dehli….but this is my chandni chauk, the one right in Pune) A typical place for a quiet family dinner…..halfway up the hills of the city…..with soft moonlight and all my family together having dinner….

I kept that moment neatly in the folds of memory….even if he seemed so stranger…..he was the same person who had meant so much to me…..I was going to treasure this memory in respect of the brother that was nowhere to be seen now…..

I thought how easily we forget the people who matter to us! The relations ether away in front of our eyes! And we see the leftovers with a fake smile of reminder of past….I almost felt as if I had lost the dream hero of my fairy tale….

But with new days come new turns to every fairy tale of life…..this time he came back to India with this beautiful girl! And nobody knows why but we all waited for him with bright wide eyed smiles! Eager to see him and the new person in his life!

And first time I saw the picture of hers….that sweet little china doll who smiled next to my brother! And I don’t know what happened….but I loved them so much! Nothing was lost…nothing had died between us ever! The fairy tale was true! I was happy for him as I would be for no one else otherwise! Things had changed…but he held still a lot of space in my little heart! Far away….but I found my lost brother again.

Now the mock fights are replaced with shy smiles! But when I saw him with Teiming, I felt this big bubble of happiness! With my kind of shyness I don’t usually exchange even a few words with new people….but I loved her because she brought my lost brother back. In my silence I many times wish all the happiness in the world to this new couple in my family…… I want them to be happy always…together always….I want this to be their “happily ever after”! I want my fairy tale to exist!

In my dream world his travel from chandni chauk to china is the best travel of all times…..!

“There will always be times when you will see the grey side of life….so practical and hard factual…..but have faith. The magical twist is just around the next corner. Fairy tales never get over with childhood. They live within us! And they don’t end even with the “happily ever after”! That is where the new stories start!”

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