Friday, May 15, 2009

It’s a lazy afternoon in Patna, the air has a lazy flavour that’s hard to miss. Coming from a nauseatingly crowded city like Bombay, Patna’s laidback pace of life is addictive to the point of making u want to stay back here forever, that is if you choose to ignore some claustrophobic conversations and opinions. All that withstanding, this is home. This is where I always want to come back. To a sense of belonging and familiarity that's hard to find anywhere else that I have ever lived.

Coming here is like rewinding to the past, my childhood and adolescence. Every road here has a tale to tell. A story that was mine many years ago. The stationery waala knows me, and still gifts me a magazine when I visit his shop to pick up random nothings every vacation. Gazing through the glass doors of the balcony in my parents' room or the extended window sill of a room that was once mine, I get reminded of evenings I spent in introspection, wondering about life, love, and relationships. I think it was innocence that made creativity so simple back then, and simple inspirations drawn from the much anticipated first downpour or silken hues at sunset or even just plain rustling of gulmohar leaves just before a heavy rainfall. The earthy smell soothing the scorching earth a few days back took me back in time... To the decades gone by. Back to the years when I was growing up, finding myself, trying to fit myself into the image I wanted too see when I looked into the mirror. As well as the image people wanted to see. The many photo albums from yesteryears that speak of innocence. Of childhood. Of growing up. Of learning to be myself :) It's funny how in spite of everyone around me right now, I have sudden urges to have Someone here to share it all with. Word by word, "emotion by emotion".

I had moved far away from simplicity and familiarity to noise, strangers, unfamiliarity... But coming back here makes me a little more whole than what I am when I am away from here. Sometimes, very literally ;)

At home here in Patna, no friend is too far and no relation too old to be revived, you are never too far to be forgotten. All around, I see familiar faces that I have grown up with, grown up looking upto. I know I belong here, and that I will never fade into the oblivion of anonymity. Such is the umbilical cord that ties me to this place.

And then there is food... The good ol' litti chokha, the baigani-bari ka sabji, the bel ka sharbat. Everyone tells me that I can switch back to the diet tomorrow - the one that never comes :) There is pampering, there is family. There is absolute undivided attention of people right from my naani's generation to my tiny nieces straight out of Sanjay Gandhi Jaivik Udyaan. LOL!

Of all things nice and beautiful, most cherished are the people who are central to the bank of memories I carry - my extended khandaan - the mousis, mamis, bhaiyas, bhabhis. Without them, life wouldn’t have been this fervent and eventful in probably all possible ways - they are a package, with their undying love for a good laugh, those quirks, and strange yet familiar and hence adorable ways in love, hate, and gossip! I love them. Every one of them.

Often I wish I would stay here forever - the feeling does not last forever. Because independent thinking is what I also crave apart from familiarity. This is what it means to have the best of both worlds :)

P.S. - "See you on the other side" from a post from a few days back doesn't seem to be working. There are so many overwhelming emotions that I may end up writing every hour :)