Sunday 7 June 2009

Rishi Valley in me

Taking on from the post I had posted earlier - People, places and memories, I write this post about a place that is etched within my being. It could be an exaggeration to say that a part of me is there in that place too. A sylvan valley, 16 kilometers from Madanapalle, a small town in rural Andhra Pradesh. A lovely place 2,500 kilometers above sea level. A residential school where I taught and eventually learned so many things. The trees tell stories, the roads lead to stories, the mountains stiocally stand witness to the many stories there and above all I tell many stories about the place.

Rishi Valley stands witness to the time of my life where I left home for the first time. Two years over there led me through a myriad of experiences. The classes under trees, the food in the noisy dining hall, the prep supervisions where I ended up chatting with students, the hikes, the excursions and above all the lovely time I shared with the many individuals there - They all remain life's best portions served in abundance.

Places happen to people with a purpose and vice versa and it cannot be truer in my case. The two years spent there were an integral part in my cup of life. I laughed, cried, angered, loved, cursed, blessed, and many more expressions filled the days I spent there. The cool cool nights of December, the star gazing on winter nights, the bird watching on Sundays - the memories can be coerced without any persuasion.

A place which remains in me and I in her.


  1. And those special places... yes, they do stay inside of us forever... even as we stay inside them. I like to think of certain places as bearing a particle of me, guarding it closely until such time as I choose or am able to return and fling my whole being upon it. I truly do believe that places remember us... and that they weep when we are gone.

    What a lovely and insightful post, Susan. And very touching, too.


  2. I liked the way you said "places remember us." Makes us feel akin to the different aspects of the place. What makes it even more special is the fact that our memories contain what existed of the place before and in the present the place would have undergone a lot of changes. I spite of those changes, the place is very dear to our being.

    This place, Rishi Valley, will always be special to me. It was there that I embarked on my teaching career full-time for two years. Then I came back in 2007 to pursue my PhD. I still have a vibrant connection to all the students that I taught in those two years.

    Ah, Nevine. It was wonderful to revisit that place in my thoughts. Thanks for the thoughts and comment dear Nevine.



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