This day doesn’t even count. The whole day I was so restless, waiting eagerly to meet my family, my people. When you visit home only twice a year or even less than that, the urge for reunion grows stronger and reaches at its peak when there’s only a few hours between you and your family. Flight was after my office but little did my work have my attention that day. I was constantly thinking about home and upcoming days. Technically I would reach home after midnight, so that would come under day 1. It was raining heavily outside, I could book a cab with twice the fair as for surge. I requested the driver to help me with my luggage as the stony way between me and the cab was underwater by then. I was already late, I thought. Heavy pouring, the traffic, I was tired, excited and anxious- all at the same time. Our flight got delayed because of bad weather and my anxious wait elongated.
I returned home by 1 or 1.30 A.M. Everytime I visit my city, there’s something different than the previous time. Now it had more street lights than before, some random decorations in the name of “beautification of the city” here and there, some posters and banners to show the love they bear in their heart for football. I would have liked to inhale the sweet and cold night air as my cab was heading towards my home from airport but I was afraid to open the window. I didn’t have any faith in the people travelling on the same road. I was contemplating that my driver was drunk too but there was nothing that I could do. Finally I reached home.
My parents were waiting for me at the door. Dad looked thinner and weak. Mom was looking sick, tired but overwhelmed. Her face was pale and dark circles underneath her eyes. Her smile had a hint of sadness, loneliness and despair. As I put down my bags, she hugged me like it was going to compensate for all the time she wanted me to be with her. I was hungry. I settled down for dinner in no time. Mom had prepared all the things I liked. She too didn’t have anything until I arrived.
It was Saturday. I woke up in my own bed by 8:30 or so. As soon as I woke up I could feel an unknown fear that made my heart skip faster. I didn’t remember to have a bad dream or anything so I ignored it. I broke my fast by 10 a.m. and hoped to see my grandma. I met her in my uncle’s house. It’s nice and comfy out there. I had to meet my cousin too, he was in school then. I fell asleep on grandma’s bed and finally woke up when little bear(my cousin) returned.
He is a kid of 9- so thin that one can count his ribs. Little bear tied a rakhi round my wrist. Rakhi – it’s something that only brothers get from their sisters. I am no brother of little bear. Innocence and pure love are such rare things now. I’m still wearing that rakhi and wondering how lucky I am to have such a cute little thing around.
I had to return home to have lunch with my parents. They would be upset otherwise. From lunchtime mom seemed to be restless. She couldn’t even eat. By evening she threw up for twice and fell sick. She had fever too. I didn’t understand how I could ease her pain. I accompanied her all the time rest of the time.
In the evening an uncle showed up with sweets and greetings. Mom was on bed, so dad sat with him and started talking. After some time mom struggled to get up from the bed and offer him some tea. Meanwhile uncle was talking how this “illness” was yielded 60% from mind and 40% from other nonsense. I was sitting beside him. His arguments were making my blood boil, I knew how badly mom was suffering and this guy was telling how insignificant it was as a matter. I stayed calm as my parents would have wanted. However it doesn’t matter what he thinks of my mother’s illness. My sister decided to stay in her room to spare herself from the false courtesy.
That’s how day 1 ended.
Surprisingly I woke up by 8:30, soon enough for a Sunday at home. After I broke my fast I had to pick up little bear from his home. He would stay with us for the whole day, play games and watch movies- until his mom came to take him home again. However aunt came and drop him here- I didn’t have to go out.
Little bear watched movie with my sissy while I was learning to wear a saree. Mom was still lying on the bed. She was instructing me and I was following. After 2-3 trials I understood it was not as easy as I thought. Perhaps I needed more practice before I could finally pull it off nicely. I dozed off beside mom and woke up at lunch time. After lunch I accompanied little bear and sissy in watching a movie.
Mom was better than before but still not completely fine. She’s a tough woman. She would not utter a word about her health until it’s too much. My parents are no romantic people. I don’t see them talking nicely to each other very often. Even if they do, there are always regrets and taunts following that. Dad was upset/angry because of mom’s health and all of a sudden the atmosphere became toxic. I wouldn’t like to witness the negativity I have been seeing all my life before moving out. Even though I knew that ours is not an ideal family, sometimes I would like to pretend like as it really was. I couldn’t stand people raising their voices and arguing. I love my parents a lot but I hate it most when they fight with each other over small things.
Little bear was with us till evening. I tried to keep myself in good mood and picked up a storybook to read but I was feeling sad and helpless thinking about my family. As he went home, I was wondering if I wanted to meet any friend and soon I realized that I didn’t have any. Rest of the time I engaged myself in a book again.
That’s how day 2 finished.
It was even more boring. I had to pay a visit to my college for some business. I had my breakfast and got ready for college. The day was a sunny and hot one. As soon as I looked outside, I started feeling dizzy and felt my heart to beat faster. I felt sick all of a sudden. Hence I didn’t trust myself for a 2 hour long bus journey to college alone. I took rest for a while and focused on my storybook. Mostly I confined myself to the bed.
In the evening again, we planned to meet some of relatives. As soon as I got dressed up, I started feeling sick again. I waited for sometime to get things better but it didn’t. My stomach was upset and indigestion was making it worse. I gave up and laid on my back skipping my meals in hope to get well.
The day was even hotter and worse. I decided to stay at home. One of my aunts came to visit me. She’s sick of her troublesome daughter. She was sad and hopeless. She was asking for some advice to tackle her ill-mannered daughter. As she left, I found myself sad too. I’m not good at counselling, rather people’s difficulty make me feel helpless from inside.
In the evening my family went outside for sissy’s marriage look. I was home alone for than 3 hours. I kept myself busy in a book. I was very cautious about the food as my poor stomach couldn’t take much. As my parents and sissy returned home, I got to know some of the embarrassing things that happened in the marriage look. Even if I was laughing at them, I knew my arranged marriage would be no better than this.
In the evening our uncle came home. I had a long talk with him as there was nobody at home. He was talking about the business he started up and how he thought to expand it and the opportunities he saw in future. Although I crave for high salary and work-life balance, I felt very uncomfortable. I realized how limited my thoughts have become. I thought I could be never do something extraordinary like that and I would always be an average.
It was none of reading books and rolling over bed idly. In the morning I was determined to be done with my college visit. Did it. As I got some time after that, I paid a visit to my office (the branch they have here) where I could find my old classmates. None of them was my close friend, I didn’t see any special excitement in anybody’s face. Neither did I expect! I made an effort to meet my old roommate but she seemed to be too busy to care. I called 2-3 other people too, to send my message to her but I didn’t hear from her till the time I was writing this.
It was near the end of my trip. Just 3 more days, many important things are yet to be finished. I had a mixed feeling when I visited my college. Maybe it would part of another post. Rest of my time was just me overthinking about my terrible life choices and a little bad blood with my family which is a must.
It was Diwali and Kalipujo. We worship Goddess Kali and illuminate households with candles, decorating ligts and lamps. Moreover there is madness of colour and creativity- rangoli. We have been observing this beyond religious barriers. In morning I got ready and went outside for some important work in a nearby office which wasn’t done. On my way to home I could see some of the pandals, some had idols amd some didn’t. Puja was supposed to take place at midnight and the pandals were still not complete. I was in a comfortable outfit – not looking great but relaxed. In the evening 2 of my mom’s siblings came accompanied by their respective families. Meeting my cousins, lighting up our apartment, finishing the first book of The song of ice and fire – that’s all. My diwali was simple and pollution free- no crackers, no fireworks!
It was opposite of all the previous day. I got up in the morning, dressed up and went to the bank. It took almost half of my day to get the work done there. That’s why I hate bank this much. It requires too much time for even small queries or anything. On my way back home I could see 2 more puja pandals. I met one of my friends whom I promised to meet. We couldn’t talk much as he was in hurry.
As soon as I returned home, I had my lunch and accompanied mom to some shopping and other things that needed my presence. After that I met a school friend and spent some time with her. I returned home past 8 of night. It rained heavily for all the time but I was glad that it couldn’t mess with my plan.
My beautiful journey came to an end. I didn’t do much by myself on the day but there are many things that happened around me. I chose to take rest and get my body and mind ready for the next day’s flight and goodbyes and return to monotony.