The story of ‘Quarters’

It’s been so long since I have written anything for my blog or for that matter written anything at all. Anyway, I felt like writing today and about what? We shall see.A lot has changed in the last three months, I moved to Hyderabad and took up a job at Microsoft. It has been the steepest of the steep climbs in my life. The last six months have been a roller coaster ride for me. I have found myself a nice little cove surrounded by some of my favorite things, my collection of books, souvenirs etc.

However, each time I go back to my sweet little cove, I miss the places I have lived in, in all these years. No matter how much I hate the fact that each ID proof of mine has a different address, I love how each of those addresses have a special place of its own in my life.

Defense quarters might look very deterring at the first glance. Painted in uniform colors of Blue and White they might sometimes look like they came right out of some 1980’s movies. But after living in them for almost the whole my life, I can say with authority; They aren’t all that bad.


Thanks to my Ma, each of houses always had a lot of plants and a beautiful garden. Meticulously decorated and marked with a legion of souvenirs, from the very beginning they kicked in the OCD of organizing things perfectly, in me. With abundance of large wooden and aluminum trunks (Courtesy the innumerable postings), we have mastered the art of converting the boxes into settees and beds.

And the best! My skills at combatting creatures like Lizards and cockroaches. I can deal with a lizard very patiently, which is very commendable looking at how my friends deal with them (If you have ever lived in hostels, you will know what I mean).

And because of the nature of my father’s job, we have had postings in smaller, remote places. Where small population, large area gave a me a lot of place to loiter all day long.

I shall start from Jabalpur, because I was too small to remember anything before that. I have mentioned Jabalpur in the post titled ‘A memory’. My first tryst with the British bungalows which had been renovated and then converted into government quarters. These bungalows must have seen generations of people come and go. In Amla (Betul, Madhya Pradesh) and Pathankot(Punjab) I have spent around two to three years each, living in these kind of Bungalows.

All these places have one thing in common. It’s peace. Surrounded with trees of all sorts – Jamun, Mango, Guava, Neem, Banyan etc, I found them to be heavenly. You can only understand this if you’ve climbed a Guava tree and spent hours sitting there! Gardens with soft grass, full with flowers of a large variety. Hanging pots and the kitchen garden. Wow, that’s love.

Once you’ve experienced the warm sun on your face, sitting on the green grass barefoot in a cold winter morning when the temperature is 3 degrees Celcius. You can never forget it. Even now, when I sit inside my sweet little cove surrounded by the loud construction noises, I miss these mornings.

Tezpur-Chandigarh-Pune-Jabalpur-Shillong-Halwara-Amla-Pune-Amla-Vellore-Pathankot-Bangalore. Phew!

Even in Pune (The only big city where I have ever lived in and the longest that too!), we lived in the corner of city called Khadawasla, bordered by the Sahyadari ranges and Khadakwasla dam. There isn’t a single morning when I did not drink my tea in the balcony overlooking a lovely picturesque Nature-scape.

Each of the houses have its own stories to tell, places cordoned off, water wells filled in and false ceilings gathering years of dirt. If you hear the name ‘Kabar bijju’, chances are you won’t know what it means. It’s a kind of animal which looks a lot like the Mongoose.  They used to live in false ceilings of Jabalpur. In amla, they were replaced by Monkeys. I have heard my parents telling me stories of wild elephants entering our campuses in Tezpur. In Amla, for a few months we shared our civilization with a Cheetah and her cubs. But very peaceful coexistence it was. No harm done to either of the parties. It’s like we can never part with the wilderness.

I wouldn’t say that I hate cities. With the years of wandering, we have been to almost the whole of India. We have travelled to big and small places alike. And I love travelling to a city and exploring it. But every once in a while, I have to return to my kind of places. It’s like an Antidote.

A large part of personality has been crafted in accordance with all the small places I lived in. The part, I am fiercely proud of and would never trade for anything in this world. In Bangalore, till the time my parents are here, I would keep coming to this house of mine with large trees all around. Relatively far from the center of the city where the traffic goes a little slower and with a large terrace to entertain all my wonderments. Let’s see where we land up next!



8 Comments Add yours

  1. Joseph Benny says:

    Nice write up!


    1. Smita Bose says:

      Thank you Joseph 🙂


  2. Srinidhi says:

    This pleasant piece of work, reminded me of Halwara.


    1. Smita Bose says:

      Glad it did! I had such a nice time in Halwara 🙂


  3. Neha Pandey says:

    Very well written reminds me of my childhood. 🙂


    1. Smita Bose says:

      Thank you so much Neha 🙂


  4. Petul---spell as Betul says:

    Late—but I’m glad having visited this blog!
    You made me nostalgic! Keep writing such good stuff Smita—-God bless


    1. Smita Bose says:

      Hey! So glad you liked ithe! 🙂


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