Blog challenges, Travel

My First Love was a Place and not a Person

My first love is not a person but a place
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पेहला पेहला प्यार है
पेहली पेहली बार है
पेहला पेहला प्यार है
पेहली पेहली बार है
जान के भी अन्जाना
कैसा मेरा यार है
पेहला पेहला प्यार है
पेहली पेहली बार है………

For most people, the moment they hear the above lines a face appears in their mind, a violin starts playing at the backdrop, one can hear the thumping heart and love is in the air. But for me, my first love is the picturesque, quaint town of Jharkhand where I was brought up. My entire childhood was in this beautiful town of Ghatshila which is hardly 50 km away from Jamshedpur, the steel city of India.

I still remember when I hurried down the stairs of my office a few years back on a drizzling evening heading towards home just one glance at that picture and I was frozen. Instead of heading towards home. I was drawn towards the temporary stall where a few paintings were displayed for sale. The breathtaking landscape that I woke up to every single morning was right there before my eyes. That painting further pushed me into the nostalgic lanes of my childhood.

Our apartment was very close to the Subarnarekha River and the moment I opened the window, I witnessed a breathtaking view of the range of lofty green hills, small huts at the foothills, and a waterfall that fell into this river. The mighty river had several shining rocks embedded within which were mica rocks and for us kids, it was something magical. The moment we rubbed our hands on those shiny rocks our hands too shone so we kids had nicknamed it glitter stones.

Sunset view

I could not share the exact picture of the landscape that I witnessed every day for almost a decade but this is a glimpse of the sunset that we witnessed when we visited the river while having an evening stroll by the river.

Every morning we crossed this mighty river on our bus while heading to our school in Mosaboni which was known for its copper mines. And while crossing the bridge when we peeped through our windows, the beauty of the gushing water was mesmerizing.

The traditional fishing traps with the bridge at the backdrop

My childhood was spent in Moubhandar which was the industrial area of Ghatshila. It has Hindustan Copper Ltd, the only vertically integrated government-owned copper producer in India engaged not only in mining and refining but also beneficiation, smelting, and continuous cast rod manufacturing.

I had the privilege to visit the factory and its vast R&D laboratory that my father headed, at a young age. The visit was special as whatever we read in our books had come to life from furnaces to quality testing labs, refineries etc.

The Entrance gate of HCL (Hindustan Copper Ltd)

The foundation was laid by the British in 1928 by setting up the first copper smelter here in Ghatshila. Even though Ghatshila is a quintessential town, it flaunted the British-styled bungalows, Golfclub, swimming pools, entertainment, and sports club, all the urban amenities that one could only dream of three decades back.

Apart from the industrial aspect, Ghatshila was a popular tourist destination, especially for Dharagiri and Burudih Dam.

Dharagiri Waterfalls is a great place to visit and a must if one plans to explore the Birudih Dam. These spots are famous picnic spots and are known for their scenic beauty. This waterfall cascades only 25ft but the sight is mesmerizing during monsoon when it falls with all its intensity.

Birudih Dam is an artificial waterbody maintained by local authorities. It is hardly 5 km away from Ghatshila, surrounded by thick luscious green forest. It provides a scenic view for those looking to relax and engage in nature photography. The best picnic spot that Ghatshila offers for all its tourists.

In a nutshell, Ghatshila offers both the rusticness of a quaint town as well as the ultra amenities of a mega city. I have visited almost all the states and major cities of India but no place can replace the memories that this small town offered me in my growing years. The scenic beauty, serene environment, rich culture, and vibrant cosmopolitan community not only made Ghatshila unique but irreplaceable in my heart.

This blog post is written for Speakeasy 3.0 hosted by Dipika Singh and Ruchi Verma

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9 thoughts on “My First Love was a Place and not a Person

  1. Di I can’t tell you how much this post resonates with my love for my hometown, Chittaranjan. At first, I wanted to write about my town but then I thought of sharing a story from the past. The way you have written about Ghatshila, it feels so so nostalgic and you know Di, there’s peace in those memories of us. Those carefree days, those childhood plays, living in a small town where there is no rush to meet the deadlines or stress to fight with toxicity of the society. Life was really good. Thanks for taking me back to those golden days. I will watch videos of Ghatshila now on YouTube.

  2. I have never been to Jamshedpur but I am thinking of having a north Indian trip and I cannot take this breathtaking pic away from my mind. Though I have seen the sunset several times, this one in your picture is out of the world and seems to tell a story

  3. You really grew up in a beautiful place. I would love to see the water flowing by every morning and evening. The sun’s rays dancing over it and the sky and the surroundings coming alive. It is so easy to fall in love with this. This is the first time I am reading about Ghatshila and I really enjoyed your description of the verdant place. Would love to see the waterfalls some day.

  4. Your heartfelt description of your first love being a place is truly captivating. Your words vividly bring to life the town of Ghatshila and the nostalgic memories associated with it. It’s remarkable how you’ve beautifully conveyed the emotional connection you have with the picturesque landscape and the town’s rich culture. Your story paints a charming picture of your childhood spent amidst the beauty of nature, the flowing river, and the industrial surroundings.

    The way you’ve described the stunning sunset, the glistening rocks in the river, and the bridge crossing over the gushing water creates a vivid mental image for the readers. Your recollections of your school days and the visits to the copper factory offer a glimpse into a world that was both educational and enchanting. The contrast you highlight between the industrial aspect and the natural beauty of Ghatshila is both striking and thought-provoking.

    It’s heartening to see your appreciation for the local attractions, like Dharagiri Waterfalls and Birudih Dam, and how they added to the charm of the place. The duality you describe, with Ghatshila offering both a rustic charm and modern amenities, showcases the unique blend that makes this town special to you.

    Your story is a wonderful reminder of how places can hold a special place in our hearts, and the memories we associate with them remain irreplaceable. Your comment truly spreads the love for Ghatshila and the cherished moments you’ve shared there. Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece of your heartwarming journey.

  5. Your home town looks serene. It is a wonderful amalgamation of modern and natural beauty. Never been to Ghatshila, but after reading your delightful description of the place I would love to explore.

    1. Ghatshila is a serene and beautiful town that’s the place I have spent my entire childhood so the bonding is special. Do explore this small town you would love it.

  6. No wonder you were and still are in love with this place, it’s truly beautiful. Such a lovely narration about the first love with this place. Your writing made me think, which is my favourite place in the world. I have to write something about that too.

    Thank you for participating in SpeakEasy.

    1. Thankyou, Dipika. I am glad that you liked the post and it also made you think about your favourite place. Waiting to read your post soon.

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