.....it just happened with a bang! Beginning. A beginning that is always new. Also tough. It brings along with it a lot of surprises and challenges. Yet what makes it most exciting is the thrill and the enthusiasm that comes with it. A beginning is like a bud waiting to blossom. It is like that stone waiting to get sculpted into something beautiful or like the wet clay on potter’s wheel which is just on the verge of adorning some exotic shape. And as they say, no matter how difficult a beginning is, it is always beautiful, of course in its own way.
And I could feel that ecstasy of a new beginning when I entered the campus of CME in Pune. After 2 long years, I was joining my husband and precisely entering army life, a life that I knew little about until then. For the first time, there were too many thoughts crowding my mind and I was not sure which one struck more. That precise moment when I entered the huge gates of CME (Coll of Military engg), my mind resembled that of an awe stricken kid gaping wide in wonderment at the number of toys in a toy store and is not sure which one to pick! Well, first time is always a first time for many things. And after having spent the first 23 months of married life as a civilian (as hubby was posted in field sans family accommodation) this change had definitely struck me good and hard! Everything around me was new-fangled. As our car passed by the many CME quarters, I entered a world that was diametrically opposite to everything I had seen and lived outside those huge gates. Plush green lawns, stone buildings, long clean roads flanked by huge trees on either side, the frequent hooshing sounds of planes taking off and persistent chirping of birds, everything.....everything I saw here was all that I had just heard about until that moment! As I revelled in nature’s lap here, some of the most cherished memories came flooding back from the past 2 years when I lived my life to the fullest as the ‘perfect civilian’ or perhaps as the most unruly and rustic civilian! And my den, my haven, my home The place that was my haven until that moment was the most hustly bustly pocket of the city - Somwarpeth.
Like all other Peths, this place is perpetually drowned in a never ending cacophony. There is always something going on all the time. Especially in city pockets, life could be termed more as noisy yet, it is delightful in its own way. No traffic rules are followed at any point of time. So walking on roads at any time requires alertness. You will find very few people wearing helmets and riding bikes. And there will be a lot of ghost riders during daytime as well. The shops open up in the wee hours of morning and close late at night and you will always find a crowd strolling on roads, no matter what time it is, late night or early morning. And when it is a festival like Ganesh Chaturthi or Navratri, it is a sight to watch out for. The processions, the drum beats and the crowd that occupies all space of those narrow roads of these peth areas supplemented with very high decibel-ed music (more often a blend of devotional and filmi ones) are some major highlights of Pune city life. Nevertheless, a festival is a time that brings people together to rejoice the good things in life and wish for the same to continue. I who was extremely allergic to dissonance in the initial days, slowly started to enjoy it and in due course of time I just got used to the idea of sound around me. In days to come post marriage, I enjoyed sound more than silence. I enjoyed festivals like never before. I loved the idea of staying in a place as Somwarpeth where everything I needed was just at a stone’s throw. And the most important thing, there were people around always. And now, I entered a world where I could find quarters spaced at 50 to 100 meters. There weren’t many people on road and once in a while one could see a car/two wheeler or an army truck passing by. Considering I was new to this place the sudden change made me feel different. It took a while to sink in that this is going to be my life for the many years to come. I won’t say I felt uncomfortable. Just that, I was still swallowing the effect this change had over me. In short, I entered a world of discipline, courtesy and decorum which would hold above all from now on. Not that they weren’t there before. But henceforth they would be given top priority in all walks of my life. I, for that matter have always welcomed changes and I welcome this one too with open arms. As our car neared our quarters (our home for the next one year), my mind had already arranged/decorated our home to my taste and was eagerly waiting to enter my first destination of this newly started beginning. As I entered our home with my husband and my 7 month old son, I could feel happiness, contentment and relief flooding my heart and soul. Yes! After having spent 2 years away from hubby with him posted in a battle zone wherein those times I could not talk to him for days, this was like having landed in an oasis in the sands of time.