Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Yes, I have just returned from a home trip.
Rejuvenated, tired, excited, happy and sad at the same time !! There aren't too many occasions when you experience these emotions all together. While i was on my flight back to Bombay i was contemplating on blogging about my trip. Not the usual holiday diaries, people post, though !! Rather a more heartfelt account of my experiences in my hometown.
I have gone back home several times during my professional tenure. Managed to live through the madness of office work, people frantically calling to check upon work, and me happily basking in the small town's laid back sunshine. Never bothered about things such as career, packages, recruitments, MISes, training, performance etc etc n blah, during those 8-10 wonderful days.
This time was no different. "I shall not be accessible on the phone" mentioned my out-of-office mail.
The welcome at home, the warmth from my kith and kin and the angelic face of my mom. The face that makes me forget all worries in life, forget any ambition, abandon any desire and just sleep with my head down in her lap while she keeps chatting about almost everything under the universe, from the 7th marriage proposal she received for me to my neighbour's cousin's career interests. Of course Dad's mock anger only enhanced our will to gossip a little more. He, although, was happy with the bunch of novels i took home. Time has a strange way of repeating itself with a twist. It seemed like yesterday, me smiling deeply because of the 3 double digest comic books he'd bought me, on his way back from business.
The awkward hugs i receive from my chaddi buddies, back home are a thing to remember. I have blended into the semi-north indian culture of Free Hugs for everything, and this has become a way of life. However things back home are still the same. A friend meeting after long, is shown the same warmth, same love, yet unspoken. And while i embark on the tradition of hugging, they share half a hug, making the shoulders to barely touch and an arm on the neck, and thus we meet !!
We sit down to discuss... and for once i am glad, we are not touching upon points of discussion such as the big corporate honchos in their respective companies and their astounding ways of success. I am not given pre feeds about the next overseas business trip they shall be going upon and our views on the next tax planning and investments for the next quarter do not matter. We do not discuss world cinema or the latest gizmos we are looking to buy. We discuss life, love, happiness, problems, how it was, when we were kids, how it is now. We discuss about other friends, we discuss our small dreams for the future (neither overwhelming the other), we joke, kid around, pull the silliest of pranks and pass off endless hours by the sea side.
I play a lot of badminton every time i go home. Good way to burn all the extra calories i gain from mom's cooking. This time was no different. Although, the guys praised my current form :D , i sincerely hope they were not trying to flatter a desk job professional with limited exposure to practice. I do wear out faster in about an hour's rigorous game-play. Cut to memories of the champ playing like there was no tomorrow during college days. I look at the trophies, cups and shields i earned from the game and the pride still gives a weak smile from deep inside.
I visit places. Sometimes with people, and sometimes alone. I steal a peep at my alma-mater, my school. Holiday time !! :'( Couldn't go inside !!
I sat by the sea, the same spot i have always been to. Memories came flying. Reckless sea baths in the salty water....holding hands.....sand castles.....the awkwardness of meeting girls near the Puri Sea Beach (understood locally)...beach football.....sand art....the setting sun.....the confused tourists...the yuppy foreigners....!!
It rained while i was sitting by the beach this time (yes it had been raining a bit in Puri). I was listening to a bluetooth transferred version of Guzaarish's title track. The moment felt ethereal. While i do share this in words now, in reality i am weirdly selfish, i wouldn't want anyone to be a part of that experienced moment.
I ate, ate and ate...yes that is understood. Coming from my present situation of self imposed diets and the crappy maid food, home is where the sorrow ends !! My roomie had mentioned once, its good that we get crappy food here, it helps us stay fit. If we were subjected to home food on a daily basis, God alone would measure my waist !! Anyways, the tastiest of fishes, the mutton, the veggies, the sweets all went inside in large quantities and every moment was relished.
I went to the temple, with mom as always. I'm not very religious and every time i pray i feel i am pleading. So i discontinued the habit. But when i enter the big temple of the greater God, every logic, every argument seems baseless.. The atmosphere is so overwhelming, that i do not mind being even a beggar before Lord Jagannath. I pour my heart out before him and realize towards the end, i have been saying things out loud and Mom is peering blankly at me having finished her prayers.
I came back to Mumbai this morning. Waved to my parents till the last sight of the visitors window while getting on the plane. I wonder sometimes if its going to be a trend that i will slog for 50 weeks in a year to have 2 weeks of pure happiness in life. Conscience is a nasty little prick, always posing the wrong questions....
Dear Conscience, I chose this life. I have lived and loved it. And i look forward to make it more meaningful.