I was in Kotdwara in the last week of the last year. It jockeyed my memory with nostalgia of my good old childhood spent in the lap of Kotdwara.
That Khoh river, Siddhabali Maharaj’s temple, that long flight of stairs from the railway platform to the main station, my old alma mater Public Inter college (now GIC), our principal Bahukahndiji (his son retired a Brigadier, Jacku), teachers Dhaundiyalji, Aggarwalji, Bishtji and many others who made me worthy of what I am today.
Jhanda Chowk where we friends used to gather and spend hours almost every evening, Frontier (Tea shop) where we shared one tea cup amongst three, Bhagat पकोडीवाला, Kundan छोलेवाला who gave us a छोले in pattal in half anna (two paise), Kishan पॅनवाडी and so on. We used to see रामलीला in Malviya Nagar park.
But now even the town of Kotdwara has changed. So much of crowd, unmanned traffic, dried up Khoh where water comes only in rainy season. So much has changed. That is the dynamics of universe, I suppose. (विधि का विधान भी यही है)
But, yeah, it is still better than metros and big cities. It still keeps the old touch alive. I am still somebody’s भाई साहब, somebody’s ताउ जी and Somebody’s चाचा there, and not universal Uncle everywhere.