Not the one you've heard of through text books and other places, but definitely the one you should know about. Gajiapur as it’s called is a village on the far outskirts of Gonda districts hidden away amidst several jungles and farmlands. Getting there is an achievement of its own kind. It's a place where everyone knows everyone and the use of words such as "Babu", "Munnu" and "Beta" fits perfectly with the tone and dialect of speech used there. "Dihati" as it's known mainly derived from the Awdhi boli easy to understand but it's a great task to be a fluent speaker of it. My visit to our lovely village though 13 years later was a short one (thank you studies) what I experienced there was familiar yet so strange at the same time. The kindness of the villagers was something I'm sad that I was startled at. Almost everyone who saw me on the first day looked at me with utter curiosity later on when they got to know my father had arrived this time with his family we were invited by a TON of people, almost everyone offered us tea, snacks, stories of my Dad's childhood and some gifts to take home.
The weather was a mixture of prickly sunlight at day and soothing cold winds at night. Night time was my favourite as I got to spend time with what I love most apart from some people; the night sky. From around 7, after maghrib, Mars displays itself as a shiny big dot in the blackness, rest of the stars and planets follow 30 minutes later painting the sky in white black and blue, I was lucky to have absolute zero cloud interruption in our meet, just sitting on the roof and looking up, letting my eyesight roam to infinity and beyond, no thoughts in mind just the vast sky which in the universe’s perspective is a little window to peep through. This is something you won’t find in any city, ever; especially in India.
Over the last 13 years many things have changed in my village and villages in General, the internet boom has had a significant impact there as people are more aware of the happenings of the world. The light situation has improved, homes get substantial 4 to 5 hours of electricity daily at my place as compared to none at all in the past. People however have lost their connections with each other a bit. There are other negative things to mention but to leave it at this would be the best.
Time came to finally depart the next day. We left for the station after maghrib, I sat on the window seat, headphones plugged in and while my family was busy talking about who did what I was consuming all what I could of the night sky with my head outside the window taking in the last bits of the fresh clean air. The village had bid us farewell but the stars kept me company for longer than I thought, they fell out of sight however the way John Green described falling in love, slowly then all at once.