Dated – January, 2015
Growing up in Patna was blissful. It’s my happy place when things go wrong. Memories of simpler times and friends who believed in your madness. Conversations were easy and nothing was held back. As if telling them about my bad day would just make it go away. It usually did go away. When you grow up in a small town like Patna and you haven’t really seen the world out there, your ambitions are just an aggregation of your parents’ dreams and your friends’ belief in you. It wasn’t ever easy. There were exams to clear and sky high expectations to match. There were personal losses too. But none of us buckled. They had my back and I had theirs.
To think of it, we didn’t have much in common. Or maybe we did. But it never really was about common grounds. We just had this innate sense of belonging. They were family. Their families were our extended families. The parent set knew everyone’s favorite dishes. In the times of no cellphones or social networking, we had a bond which was so strong, it was surreal. Maybe because of the lack of new age devices, we had what we had.
School and SK Puri are memories from yesteryear now, with happiness and comfort written all over it. A sense of belonging, which I pine for, everywhere I go. Been almost six months in US now. Last I blogged, I was in a hotel in Simi Valley. Woodland Hills has become the new address now. Friends invariably keep asking whether I have settled down. Well, this is as settled as I am capable of. I know where to buy fish, have a fairly furnished apartment and a list of places to visit. S moved to California too. And new year was just so very happy, but that deserves a separate post. Learning to drive here. Yes, in my three decades of existence, I have never seen the need to drive. Like Ruskin Bond mentioned in one of his books, that the only wheels he trusts himself on, is the bicycle. The country deserves road trips and I shall comply soon.
Don’t know why I thought of Patna today. Or maybe I do. Shubha got married last week. My partner in crime, ever since I can remember. Never thought that work and distance would make me miss this. Ma has been giving incessant updates. Well, she was always the daughter Ma wanted to adopt. 🙂 As I sit in my cramped studio, taking updates from Ma about the wedding, about how she danced, about all the food in Maurya; there is an innate sense of happiness. Till a few months back, was floundering with my move here. Work was (still is) crazy. The empty studio apartment lacked warmth. I think I have written this somewhere before, that if you know how to stay happy in your own company, you have my respect. I obviously fail miserably at it. And then, when I hit rock bottom, I visited Boston and then Seattle. These two cities have friends who probably know me better than I do. It’s ridiculous how happy I am around them. Between the Thanksgiving chicken roast and the morning conversations over coffee, realized that probably I will never grow roots in US. But I will manage to find my footing here, just because they are around.
If I get my driving license next week, you shall see another post for sure. Fingers crossed.