I was born and raised for first four years of my life in a village called Mandhana, in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, in India. My childhood memories are pleasant and connected deeply to the soil and its people. The seasons were an important part of my life then, I remembered the change of seasons by the fruits and food that got made at my grandmother’s home. The smell of drying mango filled the warm summer wind. My visits to the temple for yummy prasad were very frequent, I would visit the temple more than twice a day, just for the prasad. The prasad in turn for me was a magical potion, which would get all my wishes fulfilled. At night I would lie under the sky and watch the patterns made by the stars. We had charpais (beds made of rope and had wooden legs), during those days, the beds would be put down only in the night, and as soon as the sun rose, the beds would be up too. This gave open space for running and doing other household chores like grinding, drying of papad etc. We had no furniture, only old wooden or aluminum trunks. Whole day we would play in the mud or with the farm animals. My favorite place was a huge store room of grains in our house, me and my friends would climb on the grain mountain and slide down, when no one was around. Those years of my life and later the summer vacations spent in my grandmother’s house nourished my soul and made my roots grow strong into the soil.
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