Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be

Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be

Peter De Vries, known for his satire, said, “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.” How true about the annus horribilis 2020!

It is difficult to look back and enjoy the memories of the last year. Mostly. There were of course some great moments.

I am not a Modi-bhakt. His suggestion of lighting a lamp in the initial days of lockdown, however, appealed to me and my DW. (Darling Wife, for the ignoramus). And it created a beautiful scene.

And our housing complex wore a deserted look. I clicked this when I was ‘allowed’ to go out to buy vegetables from a vendor arranged by the Housing Society. This was in May. I would not have stepped out at this time of the day in May. But after being confined to my home due to the lockdown, the burning heat of mid-day was also a happy experience. Stepping out of home became a nostalgic experience.

I clicked this photograph from my home. June brought some relief, but staying at home continued. I would not have noticed the greens and blues, thanks to the lockdown!

It was only in July that I ventured out often. A car drive on Ghodbundar road up to ‘Gaimukh’ and back. Without getting down from the car. And back home. I now know how people on parole feel. (Not criminals, but those wrongly jailed.) This place was very crowded in the pre-lockdown days. But there was not a single soul present. Bhel-wala bhaiyas had returned home.

And here are three photographs when I was allowed to get down from my car and click. By this time there was some traffic on the road.

During one such travel I saw a pleasant sight. The window panes of Hiranandani towers were lit bright by the sunlight falling on them. By the time I asked the driver to stop, we had moved several meters ahead. I resolved to return the next day, which I did. But I could not get that magic moment, perhaps I had arrived a bit late, or the sun had moved to another angle as it does every day.

Here is one clicked from Kasheli Bridge. Having travelled to and from Gaimukh so often, this was a variation to kill the monotony.

And this was clicked at Upvan Lake.

During my morning walk…. Oh Yes! Life was limping back to normalcy. Readers will note that the clever use of ‘limping’ as it also accurately describes the walk of a septuagenarian-in-waiting …. Sorry I was digressing – I noticed this man. On the top! Out came my mobile and click, click, click it did.

During one trip within the city, I noticed this bulldozer – the machine and a symbol associated with the Politicians, Land-Mafias, Governments and Capitalists – had pulled down the Glaxo factory. Sad! It was a landmark in Thane. Didn’t I mention that ‘Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be?’

Finally, the indomitable spirit of a ‘Marathi Manus’ takes him to a fort. Ghodbundar Fort. Notwithstanding the Lockdown rules at home and for citizens! I accidentally discovered it while surfing internet. And slipped out of home without a mention. (Should I say ‘history repeats’? No, it is a bit too much!!) Quite obviously the Thackerays are unaware of the Fort’s existence in their backyard. It is actually in Mira-Bhayandar, not in Thane! And believe it or not – it is under restoration by Archeological Survey of India.

And finally, this photograph which I clicked at Masunda Lake. Some people have travelled too far. And creating unending ripples of memories and nostalgia. To me, this photograph reminds the pain. But we have to move on. Create something new and beautiful. Wishing you a very Happy New year, and quite unlike the one gone by.

Vivek S Patwardhan

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”

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Feature Pic courtesy: Samuel Zeller on Unsplash. All other photographs are mine. Copyright.