The earliest memory that I have of a place where I could just lose myself is when I was 6 or 7 years of age. There was one place in the house which never failed me. Especially when it was raining, I had to be there. We were living on the 1st floor of a two-story building. These were government quarters in a colony named IIP Colony. It was one of the best places to grow up ever. The window of my room used to open to large empty space that had a lot of greenery and trees. Beyond the green trees and grass, there was a little road on which occasionally any vehicles were seen. The trees bore heavy fruits during respective seasons. We had mango, litchi, guava and chakotra (Pomelo) trees to be most common in that area. I loved that window. It had horizontal bars which were wide enough for my legs to fit in. So, I used to climb that window, put my legs between the window sill and first horizontal bar, hold the above bars for support and just sit there for hours. I would that particularly during rains because then my legs would be out in the rain and I loved it.
That window was where I did most of rhymes recitation, sing songs, thought of the world (the way a 6-year-old would think). It was my spot and I was never to be disturbed there. I am quite sure that my legs will not fit in that small slot anymore but I wish I could go back to that colony and house.
After a year or so, we shifted to a similar house on the ground floor. And I lost that favourite spot of mine, but only to find a new spot in the new home. Since this was on the ground floor, we had our own kitchen garden which my dad loved. He used to spend a lot of time gardening, something that I never liked because I was scared of earthworms!
Here my room had a window that opened to the front of the house. My study table was right in front of the window and apparently, that became my favourite spot. We moved into that house when I was in grade 2 and stayed there till I finished my grade 10. So, of course, I spent a lot of time studying on that table. But more than that I also spent time daydreaming about a lot of things. That spot was the one where I not only studied my textbooks but also studied different novels and developed a habit of writing. I still remember that yellow coloured table clock that used to be on that study table. Every time I got distracted from my studies, I would look at the clock and decide the number of minutes that I will day-dream before I started studying again. That spot was where I grew up from a tiny girl to a messed up teenager. The study table was not always at the side of the window. Earlier our bed was at the window, then I used to love looking outside at the moon and stars before sleeping. So, maybe my spot was not the table but the window again.
Later on, after my sister got married, we moved out of that colony to our own house. It was very disturbing for me because that colony was a warm and cosy place, I had to leave all my friends behind to come and stay at this new home. At this place, my favourite spot was a weird one. It would be difficult to explain without a picture but I would still try. On the first floor, we had two terrace – front terrace and back terrace. Beyond the railing of the front terrace, there is a slanting roof to cover a small porch on the ground floor. It is a slanting roof with no railing. From the front terrace, I used to climb onto that slanting roof and sit there for hours. Mom used to scold me a lot because that roof would become slippery especially in rains. And if I fell from that roof, I would be badly hurt. But I still loved that spot a lot. I have written a lot of articles and stories sitting there. I have listened to a lot of music at that place and have also worried about my future. My parents still stay in that house, but now I don’t dare to climb that roof. Maybe because I am not 17 years old anymore. I am visiting my parents in a couple of weeks. I think I would try once to go there and see if I still get the feeling of freedom at that place.