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  • amiyaban

In place and time.. a mela, and some memories.

'I once went to The Somnath mela, 40 years ago... It is being held today. Do you want to see it? We will eat 'machchi-bhaat,' Kailash said.

And so we set off for Masi, down by the Ramganga river.

'There used to be fish stalls all over.. and that entire valley was a bull fair on this day. No one tills their fields nowadays, no no one needs bulls any more...'

'Look, the first party from across the river has arrived!'

I asked about the huge horn instrument.

'That is the ranasingha. Every village will have one. In olden times, it was used to warn other villages of danger.'

'And those are Bagpipes', I said to myself. ' Every village in Scotland might not have one, but every village in Kumaon does..'

'And now see... the other party will rush down from this side, and race to the river..'

'In our times, there would be thousands of people here... there was no place even to stand..'

"Nowadays, it is just a formality..'

I stood there, seeing today, seeing with Kailash his fifty years, seeing the shadows of many centuries around us.

In the patterns around me, I could sense timelessness.

River, valley, animals, fields.

valour, bloodshed, the taking of life...

fertility, creation, the unceasing Circle of Life..


'Can you imagine!', Kailash burst into my reverie. 'There is no machchi-bhaat anywhere!!'

'Its all right', i consoled him. 'I am full.'

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