Leaving home…

I am finally going to leave home at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Agreed – it comes a few years late compared to my friends who did their first degree from other cities. Nevertheless, the day has come. I am stoked. It is a promotion and an enhanced job role that is taking me to a different city.

I am excited to tackle all the challenges that come my way. Honestly, I can’t wait.

leaving-home

I can’t wait to see the house that I shall turn into a home.

But, then again, I am sad, for I am leaving family and love behind. That is a void that no big city or professional success can fill. The people I love the most are not going to be with me. That is a big blow to me.

No matter how much of an “adventurous-and-ready-to-check-out-new-places” guy I seem to be, I am also someone who wilts like a rose in the evening when there’s no one to go back home to, when there’s no one to  watch silly sentimental Bollywood movies with, when there’s no  whose hands I could hold while walking.

What is home without loved ones?

Damn! Why can’t some decisions be easy, like for instance, to be happy or to feel sad?

PS: Happy new year friends!

Image courtesy: www.mendosa.com

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Looking back.

My month long stint in Hyderabad came to a close on last Sunday. Never before in my life has a one-month period meant so much to me.

Strangers became friends, a rented apartment became ‘home’, and deep within myself, I discovered a mirror image of my Mum.

I had never imagined that I would have the same obsession as Mum when it came to cleanliness, and washing clothes. But, one morning at about 1:30, when I found myself cleaning up after a party and loading trash bags before throwing them out, I stopped in my tracks!

“Shit! I am just like Maa”, I said to myself, with much horror.

Perhaps that is how things work. One grows up picking up qualities from parents, without even realizing it at times. In more ways than we realize, we are mirror images of our folks, no matter how hard we find it to admit.

One thing that made the Hyderabad experience most memorable was the visit from Allwin. It was the first time we got the opportunity to meet in real life. So you see, virtual friends can become real life friends too, and very good ones at that!

He took all the trouble of coming from Coimbatore to Hyderabad, just so that he could spend a day and a half with me. That was remarkable!

Now, the shift from virtual to real is surreal. You know the guy, you comment on his blog, you exchange thoughts through facebook and phone calls. Yet, when you meet him in real life, it is different.

It took my mind takes a little time to re-associate the Allwin I knew with the Allwin I was seeing before my eyes. To start with, he really doesn’t look like the gravatar image on his profile. That picture is a younger version of Allwin.

He was taller, and lankier than I had imagined. But, when he spoke, it was no longer difficult to associate the two Allwin’s. The association became easier, and fifteen minutes later it came naturally.

Through the photographs on his laptop, I was introduced to his history – his life in college, his first job, his family. In an hour’s time, the author of Allwin Bright writes was no longer only a guy behind the computer screen.

The best experience has to be the chat we had sitting outside the apartment from 3:30 to 5 in the morning. Sitting under the starry sky, with a pleasant breeze blowing across our faces, I discovered a new dimension to friendship.

Despite all our cultural and geographical differences, somewhere deep down, we relate to each other very well. Glad to have discovered a great friend through this blog.

Thanks Allwin!

Home.

Home is a word that brings with it a plethora of emotions, memories, and images. You tend to get used to a given set of images, sounds, and sights that makes you believe that you are ‘at home’.

When that set is assaulted by a whole new set of experiences, you tend to feel a little lost. The climate is different, the food tastes very funny, and the language is alien. You meet new people and the gather new experiences – all of this happens too quickly, and before you know it, you are overwhelmed by it.

But, we humans are such great fighters. We learn to evolve so beautifully and quickly, that oftentimes the end result can be incredible.

Here I am, 2370 Kilometres away from my home, in a city entirely alien to me, in a flat with two guys from two different cities. Yet, I am at home. We have our own house rules, our own in-house jokes, and our favourite topics for discussions.

This, for me, is the triumph of the human spirit. We find a way, we find a home; sooner rather than later. We build new experiences, and feelings that make us feel ‘at home’ again.

 I’ve found a ‘stand-in’ home for a month, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss my real home, the blue mountains and the red river, and more than anything, I miss my people. For now, this ‘stand-in’ home makes me feel a little less lonely.

When the heart is not where home is. . .

He misses home.
He misses the familiar sights, sounds and smells, that were so synonymous with the word ‘home’.

He misses the early morning fog that blanketed miles and miles of crop fields and hid the horizon.

He misses the song of the cuckoo, and the smoke going up in the air at a distance – a sign that the farmer’s kitchen was reluctantly starting a new, long day.

He misses the dawn – and how home looked at that wonderful time of the day.

He hasn’t seen dawn for a long time now. And, sadly, dawns just don’t look the same anymore. The cuckoo doesn’t sing anymore. The fog doesn’t play hide and seek anymore.

Change, he believes, is invariably for the good. But, his belief doesn’t help him a tad in coping with change and all its trappings. He struggles, feeling uprooted all the time.

He frantically rummages through the rubble of the place he once called ‘home’ – in the fervent hope of salvaging some remnants. Some thing he can hold on to for a little more time.

But, he only finds dead people peering down from photo-frames hanging from the wall.

Even the trees at home don’t look the same. Some have been cut down. Others are under attack from parasitic plants. Just as the pleasant images of home in his mind are under attack now from the present scenes of death and degeneracy.

The child in him pines for the past.

But, time is a one-way street.

And he has a tough time learning to live with this fact.

Inside his head, he shrieks like a mad man. But, the living dead do not hear his frantic cries. He tries to shake the living dead out of their self-imposed slumber.
But, it is futile.

And in the end, he just gives up holding on to the broken shards of glass for he can no longer see himself bleeding to death.

A day comes when he simply shuts himself off to nostalgia. In all forms.

And WALKS AWAY.

Home, folks say, is where the heart is. And his heart had finally left home.