Wednesday 14 December 2011

Being back....

Ever since I got back from India, friends have been asking me 'how was your trip home?' I tell them it has been great, it was so nice to be back, be with my folks, meet friends and the whole family. After repeating the same answer a dozen times or so it started to sound a little lame to me. I was wondering if I asked myself the same question what would the answer be?

Hmmmm.....

After a gap of two years home was....

Lovely.... the smile on my parents' faces...their oh-so-familiar faces looked a little older, bit more weathered but the smiles were bright and luminescent...for that smile alone the trip was so worth it....

Two years and not a single thing had changed in my room...walking into my room felt like walking back in time...my bangle hanger stuffed with glass bangles which I have long overgrown, my little bedside self filled with presents from friends, some long lost, some still in touch...old college and university notes in my book shelf....I smile and tell Ma 'you should have cleared all this junk'. She says 'its your room, you do that'. Ah yes my room....I left home in 2002 since then lived in numerous houses but if there was a place which I call my own it would be this room....coming back to it was so gratifying...

Waking up in the morning to the smell of gorom cha (hot tea) and paar ar dokan er kochuri torkari ar jilipi (vegetable curry with fried Indian bread and a desert from a shop near our house). The best breakfast in the whole world as far as I am concerned. Oh I do love my share of pancakes and eggs benedict...but I did not grow up eating those, I grew up eating this breakfast on Sundays and other holidays. The breakfast was as awesome as ever....

Meeting my family...the nice ones, the happy ones, the bitchy ones, the gossips ones...the whole jing bang. I know people turn up their noses whenever the word 'family' crops up...my family is the same as everyone's...a little mad, a little kind, a little critical, a little supportive, a little genuine, a little fake....But do I enjoy being with them? Boy yes! I would not change them for anything...the nicer ones I absolutely treasure and the not-so-nicer ones, oh well if we cut them off  from our lives whom would be gossiping about? So the lot of them stay...big family get together at home means a lot of work but also means laughter, old stories retold a thousandth time, little groups talking about different things, everyone squeezing in small places for one big adda (chat)....my family was as entertaining as ever....

Meeting old friends is like a sepia photograph coming alive....you take up where you left off..... like you have never been apart....you may have become  older, fatter, bald-er, richer, poorer, successful, unsuccessful but to these people you can be just yourself, no need for pretence, no need for explanations, you laugh at silly things, you cry if you need to, go a little mad but still you know they will welcome you next time you visit....

And India...how can I not mention the confusion, the chaos, the muddle, the dirt, the craziness that is India? Being back felt good, really, really good, like I was sleeping for so long and suddenly I am awake.

So a trip back home was like replenishing the wine carafe with your best wine and hoping that it would last till the next trip home......