I travel to Delhi tomorrow. After almost eight months of living away from the madness. And while I can’t claim Pune has been particularly sane, I have been away from the morning Metro rush, the honking cars outside my house, and the slight chill in the air that starts coming in this time of the year. But madness, really? This evening, randomly, I realize I have actually missed it all!
It has been so long since I sat in the big terrace at home, amidst the potted dahlia plants, listening to the fluttering of birds’ wings and the conversant afternoon wind. I haven’t met my cats in a really long time and am paranoid about how they may have actually forgotten how I look. My old reading chair, where I sat all through my childhood, holding a book and a big bowl of snacks, has been abandoned all this while. In fact, while I have been away in Pune, commuting from home to work to home, the Durga Puja pandals have already been put up. The thrill of spotting the pandal canes, the tenting material and the decorations in the big trucks, has been lost for ever.
Every year on Pujo, I go home to a super excited Mom who can’t wait for my flight to land. She has in place for me a gigantic wardrobe and an entire collection of snacks from the general store across the street – yes, even those wacky-sounding chips and cupcakes. So much so that the man behind the counter actually keeps pestering her with “When is Baby coming home?” when I am not around. We sit together in the balcony, swinging and munching away, while the late October sun pretends winter is still too far to be thought about.
Sometimes, I think, sighing is therapeutic. Life moves on faster than we are prepared for. We can hold on to so little. But notwithstanding the passage of time, my little home in Delhi with Mom hustling and bustling about to fix me a glass of cold coffee, will always be my haven. When I land in the Delhi nightlights tomorrow, the skies will be from yesteryears and the wind will be from memories come alive. It will be just like it always has been.