Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Everything amiss!

It was scorching heat and the bumpy auto ride back home did not seem to end. There were sweat beads on her forehead and cuss words all around her. There was a commotion and a traffic jam. She turned around to see a row of cars behind her loudly honking like a mistuned trombone. 

She sighed 'not again! Mumbai is so crazy'!

She missed home - the everyday sights, sounds and the cacophony of prices being shouted in the familiar language. A language she could fathom and use double-entendres, where she could swear and feel the effect of the word on the opponent. She missed her dad's mash up of songs that he ended up singing every morning before leaving to office and her mom's effort to stop him from changing the tune of each song. She missed her mom's cooking and her kind words of affection and anger, both unending and unforgettable. She missed her grandmother's ways of interrogation whenever she said bye to her each morning. She missed the late night phone conversations with cousins and the Sunday sessions of omelette and tea-making with her dad. She missed how she showed her newbies from shopping to her grandfather's photo, silently and secretively when no one was watching. She missed her temple visits and the usual suspects who greeted her, and the uncles and aunties who she greeted. She missed walking on those tree-lined lanes and her Gulmohar tree which she and her grandfather planted in 1997. The flame of the forest was gone and so was he.
Reality hits her as a heavy vehicle this time, as a biker rams his front wheel against the auto's rear ensuing another commotion. The auto driver gets out and slaps the biker. The loud honking returns and the city presents itself to her as the unapologetically vociferous, uncaring and ruthless, Mumbai. Only this time, she gets out of the auto and decides to endure the menacing heat by walking on the dusty lanes sipping water from her red bottle. 

The memories and pangs of sorrow will always remain, nestled snugly between the everyday realities of life and the continuous effort to try and live.  

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