It was a few decades ago, but still so fresh in my memory withstanding ravages of time as if it had happened just yesterday. I was in my early teens and the very thoughts of which, making me nostalgic.
Since my father was posted as a Director of GSI, Hyderabad, we had to shift our residence very close to the office. It depicted a scene of forests, countryside living, with houses scattered here and there. Hardly one could find a soul in the vicinity. The area was totally abandoned with snakes grappling in the grasses and monkeys jumping and swinging through the trees. I wasn’t prepared for this supposedly tranquil countryside living, where the chances of acquaintances were close to nil.
Very close to my residence was this secret passage, covered with mud and stones and a signboard with a skull and two bones criss-crossing each other at the bottom as if to warn the trespassers not to risk their lives. An undefinable something which was sufficient enough to make anyone lose their nerves. This passage amazed me a lot ever since we started to reside there. When I deep dived into the matter, I got to know that it was used as an escape route by the Queens of Nizams of Golconda whenever enemies had attacked them. My curiosity quadrupled to investigate further. Eventually, I found a small prison a little farther away and a small fort, a replica of the Golconda Fort, which had become a habitat for birds and infested with bats more than any. Much further down found a mosque with two pillars and in-built steps within each pillar leading to the terrace, a typical replica of the Charminar. So, I named it as a dominar. Little did I know that this would become my favourite picnic spot later!
One fine day my friend and I decided to adventure the passage all by ourselves since it was taking our sleep away. We were so desperate to reach the other end of the passage. We were all set to go with torch lights, knives to save ourselves from our predators, water bottles, ropes and a pair of clothes stuffed in our backpacks. Heavily armored with spades and crowbars to dig the mud or pierce through the stones to unravel the hidden mystery. We were completely exhausted after digging for days and finally hit onto a solid metal like thing which was so hard putting an end to our adventurous expedition. We were deeply scared and puzzled too, what if it was a hidden treasure? Or what if it was a Pandora box! I could hear my mother rattling at me and my dad tickling my abdomen to wake me up as I was getting late to school. Alas! It was a dream.
I waited till the evening to check if all the places I had dreamt of ever existed, on my way back from school trespassing them. I spent my evening on the terrace of the dominar until the sky warned me of time to head home. With a hope that someday I would find the other end of the passage, I left the place.
Hope! Keeps us alive. It is the fuel to endeavour, something challenging in life.