Friday, 21 May 2010

Getting back

how does it feel, when you really love to do something. Yet, owing to a hell lot of other commitments and unavoidable chores, you are succumbed NOT to do that something which you love? To the point that it pains. Pains deep within your heart. And it aches. Aches in the dark and elusive regions of your conscience.
After nearly three months of not blogging, I feel experienced enough to answer this question.

To remove the shades of gray and put it all down in black and white for the bemused reader, I am quite simply, peeved. Peeved, at myself, and at my attitude. Peeved at my ability to forsake one of my greatest hobbies of the distant past, and divert my attention towards other, "seemingly" loftier stuff.

Note the quotation marks.

Today, in the warm and secure confines of my home, staring at a gapless two-and-a-half months of pure unadulterated bliss, I feel restless. Restless, to relive those days. Restless to get back to those intense times when I had put finger to keys, and typed away. Threading characters one to another. Forming strings of them.

To do what, you might ask? NOT shell scripting! Neither C programming. Nor entering my ID number in intrabits to check my marks.

Quite simply, write. Give vent to the truckloads of thoughts that I used to accumulate within me. Thoughts that I felt shouldn't die deep in me, thoughts which I felt, I should express. Let the world know. Not that the world needed to care. Or pay any heed, to the ramblings of an obtuse teenager.

So why have I not blogged all these days? Dearth of these thoughts, one might assume. On the contrary, no. A wilderness of them. A wilderness of thoughts, stiffled by a constipation of expression.

Now that I am back in town, with a near infinite amount of pure wastable time at my disposal, I consider myself lucky. Lucky to actually have this much time to indulge myself in that one activity, which I used to go gaga over. So without further ado, I embark.

Now that I am here, back in good ol' (?) Cal, I feel ... woozy. I wonder whether Neil Armstrong had had had such feelings upon his return from the moon. (the three hads is not a typo, mind it. It makes perfect sense ) but if you ask me, I seriously feel like an alien here. The sorta feeling that Huckelberry Finn had had during the dinner at the end of the Tom Sawyer book (again two hads here make perfect sense). I ll cite an example. Two days back, my father dropped me near Ballygunge Phari. I had some work there, and after the job was done I was to take an autorickshaw and head back for home. Ballygunge Phari, as those who know would be aware of, is pretty close to my neighbourhood, and the nighbourhood, where I had lived previously (till a year back), for 18 long years. So it's basically a place which I am supposed to know better than the back of my hand.

OK, I am no homing pigeon, and have had tiffs with directions in the past, but this particular instance seemed too easy a predicament to actually have a tiff with. Hell. Was it even a predicament?

Whatever it was, when my job was done, I headed out of the office and looked around. With that, I froze.

Where was I? I stared around. Throngs of people just walked around me. Making me feel like some speck of dust in a neglected corner in a very busy room. I stared up. Billboards. Colourful hoardings. Crows. I stared around again.

"Channelise your thoughts," I ordered myself. "What are you supposed to do?"

I knew the answer to that. Get aboard an autorickshaw. That's what. I looked around me yet again to find one. and presto, I did find one. Unfotunately enough, it was of no use. The ol' bidi smoking bloke was just too darn cheesed off to take a U turn and give me a ride back home. Poor dejected me. It took some time before I could actually come across a willing guy, and no sooner had I hopped onto his three wheeler, I paled.

WHERE was I supposed to ask him to drop me? He probably wouldn't take me all the way back home. As far as I remembered, autorickshaws in Calcutta were the I-don-give-a-damn-whether-my-customer-lives-or-die sort. So, quite naturally, he wouldn't go overboard and help an alienated youngster find his home. So where do I ask him to drop me? Thoughts fleeted my mind like meteors fleeting through space.

"One auto hotspot god! Just this one time! Shyambazaar! No damn! That was too far away! Tollygunge! NO! ... then .. then ... "

"YEAH!" I nearly squealed as I remembered one that was close to my place. Maybe my squeal scared the living daylights out of him, that the auto gave a dangerous lurch and nearly tipped to one side.

"Hazra more!" i shouted. The essentially disgruntled auto guy gave me a pretty murderous look, and a nod. The latter was all I needed and I sat back to ... in search of a better word ... enjoy the journey.

Good times, they say, don't last for long, and very soon, it was time to get off. So off I hopped, when the auto guy claimed that we were at Hazra more. But my troubles were far from over. A new epoch was about to begin. I looked about Hazra more, and tried to convince myself that yes, this was indeed the one Hazra mor that I had crossed an umpteen number of times during the 18 long years of my life ... to no avail. It probably looked more alien to me, than what the New World had looked to Columbus after he had crossed the Atlantic centuries ago.

I decided upon a brute-force method, to get myself out of this predicament (this WAS one, as you can see).

"Walk" I decided. "Walk till you see something familiar" Be it the Tala Water Tank, the Taj Mahal or even BITS Pilani! I could get back from such a place! I was confident of that! So walk I did.

By then I had given up all hope that I would actually see something that would or could provide me with some lead. A feeling of deja-vu to be more specific. Sadly, there weren't any. All such feelings come to you, as a thumb rule, when you really don't need them. Be it feelings of deja-vu during comprehensive examinations ("I have been screwed this badly before!"), gut feelings during lectures ("I'm the one who'll be asked to answer this question!"), or just plain thoughts that make the hair at the back of your neck stand on end ("I am making a C in workshop") and all such not-so-welcome things. When you really need them, such things just desert you like a fair weather friend.

So as I walked, I also looked around, and like the first glimmerings of sun rays that hit the land of the Rising Sun after months of darkness, I saw something familiar.  No, it wasn't the Tala Tank, or the Taj Mahal, or BITS Pilani, but something a lot less significant but a hell lot more convenient. An auto accessory store. The quintessential auto-enthusiaist in me assured me that this was the same store that I used to oggle at during those journeys to and from school.

I heaved a sigh. The much wanted feeling of deja-vu, that had been eluding my grasp all this while, had finally accepted defeat. Though the walk from there back home was quite shaky and dubiously immature, I did finally reach home. To my folks back here, it was just me who rung the doorbell, and was let in, but for me, I can assure it was an experience of a life time. An experience that confirmed the pangs of doubt that I had dreaded having, ever since I had left Pilani nearly a week back.

The realisation came like something as inevitable as the sun in the morning.

 The realisation that I really don't belong here anymore.
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