(Extremely busy. This is a two day old post. Off to K for my convocation!)
I hate writing posts without being connected to the internet, but I’m in no mood to connect my lan wire and still sit near the monstrous monitor and type. Waiting for dad to buy a router and then there’ll be sheer bliss!
My gtalk message since the past two days says ‘experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms’, and yes, it gets to me periodically. I miss K, my room specifically. I miss Calicut. For once, more the place than the people. So what if I didn’t even know the language, I was free! No constraints or compulsions other than my own conscience. I like the routine at home, I like being, well, a non-nocturnal human being. But I miss knowing that I can step out whenever, wherever, maybe only because the urge to buy raspberry lip balm (my latest consumerist ‘product’ obsession) has surfaced. I have this urge to run around the aisles of Focus Mall, like cattle run amok. Rush into Odyssey, spend hours picking up gifts for people, nitpicking over details and then look at my cellphone only to gasp at what pm it is. Walk into Trend, stroll over to the cosmetics counter where the attendant will smile in recognition from the many visits to the original Trend where N and I spent much time over lipstick/gloss/eyeshadow (most of which, in my case at least, lies unused but still makes me happy). Or call up an auto from the hostel telephone (something I sorely miss here! What luxuries…) and flash a surprised happy smile at Mr. Prakash the autowala, who’s perennial wish is that I take his auto all the way to the city and back, but unfortunately for him, I prefer the cheaper alternative and get down at the bus stop. I miss my solitary jaunts to SM street, where people are often surprised to find that I’m not a malayali and their constant ‘madam, madam’ reminds me of Laad Bazaar and their similar ‘Aaiye madam, suitssareesdressmaterials’. Cherooty road, the first ‘branded stores’ shopping street with the Saundarya beauty parlour that N and I first visited and where one of the employees still asks N about me. Coffee Beanz – that became heaven for this garlic bread loving soul… Yes, the city I am in has all these and in much greater abundance, but you see, Focus Mall, SM Street, the Zero Plus store that I found hidden away behind Koyenco - the one with the shaved headed owner who would offer me a discount after I reminded him of how many people I had brought to his shop , Mr. Prakash the autowala, the smiling attendant at Odyssey who I relentlessly troubled one day, Cherooty road… they were all mine, my discoveries, my stories. Nobody took me there and many of them happened before my own eyes. Here? I find myself lost, fumbling for directions, confused… the number of options are supposed to be the advantages of a big city. I guess it’s why Baba used to have that nostalgic look on his face when he used to take us to the ground near our house - the place he grew up in, a ground near a haveli reachable only throw the narrowest of lanes, some which only a scooter could pass through (while worrying about scraping your knees) while other gullies wriggled through arches of the haveli’s ruins… probably ways and lanes he had discovered on his own, got lost in and found his way again…
I miss my room, my bed, my things, my… time. Yes, I have a room to myself here, a huge one that was meant originally for Blister and me, but it’s inconveniently upstairs and it just isn’t… mine. I unpacked my boxes today and was saddened at the thought that they would end up in just any drawer, I can’t even fight with Blister over which of the two is mine, her things aren’t even here.
Yes, six years of staying away from home has led to a lot of me-ness. Yes, there’s home-cooked food, affection to be had, familial conversation to be enjoyed but bondages are stronger here, I find myself cringing when I hear people calling me with ‘beta, this’, ‘beta, that’…
The year ahead looms over me, an over-familiar workplace with familiar people, a routine life with few pleasant surprises, but still, somehow, that solitude-seeking spirit hopes for some lunch-time stealaways, some mindless comfort shopping and for a miracle – a Focus mall right around the office block.
Hope – ‘tis what makes the world go round.