Despite the many travels that characterized much of my childhood, I had never been on a trip quite like that of my first visit to South Africa. To me Africa existed through my father's journals, letters exchanged between my grandparents, an array of photographs and wonderful stories of what it was like having Africa as a home. However now for the first time, I was actually arriving at the small town on the eastern coast of South Africa where four generations of my paternal side had grown up. Driving through the town of Estcourt for the first time seemed somewhat like a dream. As we passed the small stone church where my grandparents were married, a small black- and-white picture rushed to my mind. The beautiful stained windows over my grandparents' heads were somehow familiar. Jacaranda trees stood proudly between houses and along sidewalks with little blue flowers seated delicately on the top of most branches, so fragile due to the heat that when a warm breeze ruffled the branches, the flowers would float slowly to the pavement.
My play-ground and the Teesta : My playground was the bank of the mighty Teesta. In all the seasons this river had great attraction for me. Whenever I was not at home, I could be found on its bank. Threre would be other children also with me. We used to row on the river, jump into it and swim in it. I often saw the Teesta in fury too. On one occasion when we were playing on its bank, suddenly patches of clouds made their appearance in the sky and a strong wind began to blow. My companions ran away in fear , but I did not. The storm made my heart dance with the surging waves of the river. The river swelled up and dashed violently against its sandy banks. I shall never forget the scene in my life.
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