January 3, 2004

home is where the heart is

dec 2002. 12 months since i left india.
i was ready. gifts for everyone. surprise plans for family and friends. chocolates. little nothings that meant so much to some. excited phone calls. last-minute purchases. memories and dreams. all these on the trip home.

jan 2004. 24 months since i left india.
i hate the cold weather here. it gave me dermatitis. i miss running out barefeet when it rains. i miss the sound of the indian autorickshaws, imagine what they will look like on the m25. i hate to be wrapped up in thick jackets when i go out, even if it is to buy just some milk and bread. i wish sunshine was not so rare. wish there were less leaves on the grey roads and more above on on the naked trees…

but soon i’ll leave all this behind, for three months.

i’m on my way to india where my family is waiting with open arms. where amma now must be full of questions: what should i make? will she still like that? can we all go someplace for a picnic once she gets here? my sister is getting married, and i should be excited about all the preparations i will be involved in.

yet i am not.

i didnt get gifts for everyone this year. i don’t have any surprise plans for anyone. i haven’t called home about what i need to pack, and my flight leaves in 10 hours from now. i don’t feel like making any last-minute purchases although there is a list here in front of me. i don’t like what i’m feeling. perhaps things would look better if praveen accompanied me too. strange how a single person and a home can fill up all those voids of friends left behind, family that brought you up. this home is part of me today. praveen, my reality.

i hope my family forgives me when they find out. i don’t want to come back.