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  • Nishant Andrews

Sense of Familiarity

Updated: Feb 21

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered..” ~Nelson Mandela

It was quite recently that I came by these words, its meaning quickly succeeding the discovery in the days that followed. Last month I moved back to my hometown. And for years, what had seemed like a colorful visage of a quaint, silent little town nestled among the hills, had been slowly changing, evolving and growing along with me.


In the time that I spent away from Dehradun, my fondness only grew for a place that held more diversity in the form of life than I could ever gauge. As I started coming to terms with acknowledging the nature around me, the place that had familiarity with my age-old memories seem changed. The presence of different forms of life, that had for decades existed all around me, yet had been looked upon with unseeing eyes. And, one such space was my backyard!


The memory of a lush green lawn littered with the smell of freshly cut grass, and dozens of brightly colored flowers, still remains etched in the walls of my brain. With a hope to catch that fleeting sense of familiarity, I walk down the stairs leading into the backyard, stepping into a place that seems familiar.


Yet something familiar is lost.



For spread in front of me is a wide array of avifauna, flitting around in vibrant, frenzied flights. Birds, bees, and butterflies, going about their morning routines, scurrying in and out of the bushes. Beings, that have shared the same space with me but have never taken out time to know each other.


So this time around, I quietly sat down in a corner hidden by old guava tree, and a bunch of rose bushes, hoping to catch sight of the daily visitors. Each day a new passerby made its presence acknowledged, while some of the old ones never failed to give in an early attendance. Each day got turned into a new one in the same old backyard. Each day a step forward to regain the familiarity that until now, seemed lost.



In images:

1) Spotted owlet

2) Himalayan bulbul

3) Long tailed shrike

4) Brown headed barbet

5) Signature spider

6) Spotted tiger butterfly

7) White throated fantail

8) Citrine wagtail

9) Lesser golden backed woodpecker

10) Plum headed parakeet


Location: Dehradun, Uttarakhand

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