For all my friends who’ve had more than many silent excruciating moments in the face of my continuous ranting about missing Maharashtra………….another ranting!
This time though, it’s about how much I missed my home while I was there. This is a side of the story hardly any of you would have heard...
Nostalgia- Missing my land
- Bisleri started promoting its mineral water with the advertisement-“I’m going back home to the mountains and lakes”. But I wasn’t going back home to the Shiwaliks and the Sukhna Lake of Chandigarh. I was stuck with the crooked edge of the Western Ghats and the
- I had to forego my dear habit of leaving my second button unfastened after entering the plant, my work required me to be held up with queer people on queerer locations and in the queerest of positions; so to not add to the queer tale implied that I keep myself well-buttoned up. As a boyfriend of mine phrased it-“The undone second button on your shirt was mercilessly pushed into extinction”.
- Every time I came back to Bhigwan from a vacation at home, I’d enter my room and the room would smell different from what it did when I left it, so I’d tell myself that the room’s forgotten my smell, and so will Bhigwan, it’s time to go. And I’d live the following few days essentially construing the change of smell as an omen for me to be leaving for home.
- Friday lunches at my mess used to be punctuated with a sweet dish. Unfortunately, the cook would never remember to spare a share for me before adding cardamom to it. It took a lot of Friday lunches with sweetened curd as a substitute for sweet dish and a lot of “sweet-talking” with the kitchen staff before this feat was achieved. I missed home where not just my parents but all my relatives had registered my dislike for cardamom and always saved me a share of “cardamom-free” sweets.
- The season of mangoes arrived and I thought that the season would pass without my Mom’s mango shakes!
- In the loud drone of
- So used to I had been to calling out to my brother whenever I felt technologically impaired, I knew my “helpdesk” was just a holler away. In Bhigwan, technical help implied using up a hard-worked- Compensatory Off leave for a trip to Pune’s interiors to find an HP service center. I missed my “whiz-kid” lil bros and his free services.
- Every time I had to fish into my pocket for buying a book, I missed my State Library,
- I had two Punjabi songs in my laptop and I would listen to them over and over again in an attempt to stay in touch with my language,I’d read my holy text in Punjabi in an attempt to not forget how to read and write Punjabi. I craved for the slightest excerpts of Punjabi, writings on Trucks, some words in the language of some Haryanvis I knew there or in the Dogri of one of our cooks there…
- In the year that I spent there I must have changed my phone number times enough to be labeled-“promiscuous even with numbers”, all because I did not have a Maharashtrian ID proof. I had phone numbers in the names of my colleagues, friends, relatives of friends, friends of relatives, colleagues of relatives, colleagues of friends,,,well, you get the picture. And every time the service provider found out the same, my connection would go kaput in minute’s time. Punjab was so friendly and convenient, I could have had n number of connections in n people’s names, but all that I wanted in Bhigwan was ONE phone line that wouldn’t betray me anytime I wanted to connect to my land, but
- Every visit to Bhigwan was marked with an unnerving “transportation” issue. Relying on the company’s transport implied either rushing up activities to an uncomfortable pace in the hope of catching the college bus or wiling away time at some uncomfortable spot in Bhigwan waiting for the market bus. I missed the convenience of my PB 02 0822 apart from the car itself.
- On the eve of Gurupurab, I rejoiced alone with a singular “deepak” in my balcony.
This shall of course, much to my friends disappointment be followed up with a write-up about how much I miss