Thursday, 6 October 2005

Gaping hole in my being

On Sunday I am going to India. For 8 days. Meetings and appointments will eat away most of the time, and the remaining will go for shopping and chatting in the family. It is the prospect of the journey and my own ambivalent feelings about it, that I am thinking about.

Perhaps, I have completed my journey of being a stranger to my own land? The excitement of going back in the initial years, I still remember it. Waiting for months, counting the days, thinking of all the things that I was going to do. Call Munna, call Rahul's home, call Naresh, call Devender, see Rajkumar,... calling up on all the friends was high up on the list. So what is Ravi doing? Did you hear from Anil? Have you any news of Narayan? There was so much catching up to do.

Last year I saw Munna after 8-10 years. Rahul I had met him after ages. When we meet, all the words come out tumbling and rushed, in the beginning. And then they start to dry up. Perhaps, it is because there is no continuing dialogue, no exchange of things happening in our lives.

To visit old houses, old streets, is the same as meeting old friends. They have changed. Some times there is a completely new building. In Rajendra Nagar, all the old houses have gone, in their place there are 3-4 storeyed buildings and streets choking with cars, blocked with iron railings and no one seems to know me any more. The old shops are gone, along with the shopkeepers.

The circle of things that included familiar persons and places gets narrower each time. In the end, it is just an anonymous city with anonymous people and I am a stranger in my own town.

And there is hardly any excitement, no counting of days. Perhaps, it is because I am not spending enough time there, all these short trips, running around for work and not having time to spend with people? May be it is just this day, the rain and the autumn leaves falling down, and tomorrow, it will be all right once again.

This gaping hole in my being, I will close my eyes and it might go away. A bad dream.

***

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