Sunday, 2 September 2007

The Day Comes Ever Closer

As the days come closer, the emotions well up. A sudden memory brings a smile of longing, a thought unsettles the peace that I had found only recently. It feels like a paddy transplantation - to be uprooted from one place and planted in another.

I've lived away from Delhi for more than a year now but it remained home. The place I returned to ever so often. The place of comfort, happiness and cherished memories. Growing up - from school to college to MICA - it has been a part of it all. My most cherished memories, the most cherished people in my life.

I remember one night. 3 friends, we had just finished a highly experimental Japanese dinner at this restaurant with my friend's sister and the three of us just decided, at 12 at night, that we wanted to eat ice cream at India Gate. Not that the ice-cream there was anything special but just to stand there, on that long straight road, in the middle of the night, is something else altogether. So, we sat in the car and drove off. My friend driving, me in the passenger seat and the third sleeping on the back seat. We floundered our way through the circles of Lutyen's Delhi, trying to find our way to India Gate on one of our first excursions out alone on the roads. We weren't afraid of getting lost (in a circle, you'll always come back right!) and so what was a 20 minute journey became an hour long one as we wandered through the circles and radials. We did get to India Gate and the ice-creams finally but it is the time spent that mattered, that made the memory.

Many such moments - rediscovering friends on the streets of Chandni Chowk, in sophisticated restaurants, in a cricket stadium; walking endlessly in winter along the wide roads I found friends, loves, became who I am. Every cherished memory belongs there, has its roots there.

The city is still home I guess but that tangible place called home will soon be gone. I know I'll return to that someday but the wait is indefinite. It could be a few months, a few years. I'll see that home for the last time in a few days. Wonder how I will react, how I will let it all go, see it all put into boxes and cartons.

No comments: