It would be sacrilege to not visit the home we used to live in 30 years ago when Dad was posted at Dharchula. This day was dedicated to that. We spent most of the day in bed and after the lunch-induced coma, the evening walk course was set for the Old Station area.

The new location is a little mixed up with some civilian population is sprawled over a much larger area than what it used to be 30 years ago. The old area where the Officer’s accommodation used to be is no longer populated much and mostly consists of buildings for demolition and storage rooms.

Mango tree growing outside what used to be the Commanding Officer’s bungalow.

The house we used to live in 30 years ago. Thin brick walls further covered by an outer lining of asbestos sheets and inner lining of asbestos sheets. I remember rats used to carry away steel bowls from the kitchen sink and clatter around between the asbestos sheets. Mom’s first experiment to kill them using poisoned dough balls failed because they ate the dough balls and retired to the walls where they died and stank up the whole house! Was impossible to reach between the walls.

No one lives in the house anymore. There used to be a house right next to it, sharing a wall, which doesn’t exist anymore. I spent many minutes staring into the two-room house through the dusty glass windows where I’d spotted many a snake when I was 4-5 years old.

It used to be only the three of us in Dharchula so many years ago. Thankfully, this time we had Akanksha to take photographs of us when we revisited.

Mom and Dad on the stairs where they used to have their evening and morning tea. Those were simpler days.

Our reminiscing complete, we bid adieu. We knew that if all of us ever had the chance of returning to this place again, at least this structure would not be found. I’m tearing up a little just writing about it now.

Thank you for the above photo Akanksha :*

And then Dad ran into someone who used to serve with him all those years ago. They hadn’t met since then and it was a shockingly tearful reunion. Honorary Captain Bhopal sahab. He remembered many things that both my parents had forgotten. Like how Mom used to attend all basketball games and cheer the officers from the stands. This was unique because no other officer’s wife had ever been seen at the stands let alone cheer for the team.

The above is inspired from this song that a certain officer had composed / improvised for Mom and Dad those thirty years ago that went something like, “VP & Sarla, under a mango tree, K. I. S. S. I. N. G.”

Still discussing stories and how times have changed.

Leaving the old station, our evening walk almost at an end.

Some tomfoolery before we walk back to our rooms.

Above, the view of our guest room from a distance.

Previous stories from this journey to and from Dharchula here.

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