“These Dhobi Ghat inspired people I tell you.” he teases me every time I gear up to click a random picture. I don’t reply. I smirk or just shovel him around a bit.
He knows how it is. That inexplicable urge to capture every memory in print, to ensure the sights and sounds never fade. I wish there was something to seal the smells too but I am not too deft with perfume bottles.
I leave this Saturday. It feels like an ordeal. There’s X kgs of luggage distributed among three bags and I am freaking out over the possibility of the weight exceeding 20 kilograms. “My son had to pay Rs. 15000 as extra freight charges.” a masi in Delhi tells me. “He was getting me special tea-sets you see.” Eee! I don’t earn that kind of money.
I am also freaking out over other things. How do I say goodbye at the airport? I have never been too good with it. Mom usually turns up to see me off in complete Kiron-Kher-in-Hum-Tum-style (I am fortunate she cuts out the arti ki thali). I manage a cajoling session on those occasions. She’s a darling, Mom is. But these other sort of goodbyes are the ones I am worried about. How do you see off someone you have gotten so used to that they are a habit? I am keeping my fingers crossed to ensure the stipulated time till I see them next doesn’t exceed the plan. Yikes, I positively detest goodbyes.
So, to workaround the sad part, I am propagating a seamless move. I will be gazing at photographs like the ones below, scanning random times from my stay in Pune. And when I look up from the sunny lanes in the city and the beautiful beaches in Goa, the window will have shifted to the smokey horizons of Delhi.
(click to enlarge)