Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Way Back Home

The last few weeks have been very hectic as far as work is concerned. Late nights have become more the norm than the exception. And frankly speaking, I can't say I dislike it. Well, it could be because of my otherwise not so happening evening life or just the fact that this is a change from the usual. It might as well be the feeling that I am actually doing something which would directly or indirectly benefit me somewhere down the line. But no, this post is not about my experience in the software industry which by the way is nearing a year. That, will have to wait for a few days more.

The six kilometer stretch of road that brings me home from my office is one of the best in Bangalore. The road is wide and the traffic relatively less at any time of the day. So at around half past 10 when I hit the Outer Ring Road and put my bike to full throttle, the ride is enormously enjoyable. The smooth traffic allows me to touch speeds of 90 kmph on a regular basis and add to it the chill in the air especially if it has rained in the evening; and you have a 7-8 minute ride that robs you of your weariness of the day. It's one time of the entire day that I am completely living the moment without thinking of the past or the future. I hum along a few songs and at times even sing them at the top of my voice while racing past other vehicles on the way.

It's not that I have something very exciting waiting for me upon my arrival. Yet, the prospect of having a laugh with my flatmates, reading a bit, spending some time with my guitar and ringing up family and friends, makes me feel at peace with myself.

I can't help but reminisce about the time I used to make a similar journey back from school to my home on a cycle along with my friends. During the morning sessions before the summer vacations, school got over at around 1 o' clock and we would come home licking the 25 paise or 50 paise 'ice creams' that we bought in front of the school gate. Holding it in one hand and balancing the cycle with the other, we often rode our cycles at full speed to be able to catch some live action from the Sharjah Cup. There would be nothing, not even the scorching heat or the loo, which would slow us down during those times. Our orange coloured hands and tongue would bear testimony to the fun we had had. During the regular sessions when classes got over at 3:30, the ride would be more sedate. We went along discussing the happenings of the day, the latest affairs in school, cricket and what not. Since my house was the farthest away from school, I had to part company at some point and travel the last kilometer long stretch alone. I remember us stopping at the last junction (my friend's house) and chatting for a good 10-15 minutes before finally leaving for home. It really used to get tiring during the summers especially since the last bit was mostly uphill. But I knew that I had my prize waiting in the form of watermelon slices and mango shake kept in the fridge and at times dahi-chuda with gud. Ma would be waiting for me in the balcony with the keys to the garage where I kept my cycle and that was such a pleasing sight. She could make out my arrival merely by the sound of the gate. She said she could distinguish between the sound I made and that made by others! In later years, the scooter replaced the cycle and I became more reluctant on eating something after coming back but the pleasure of coming back home, coming back to your Ma waiting for you; well, that remained unchanged.

It's about comfort and a sense of belonging that makes the ride back home special. Whether it's to your waiting mother, or to a shared flat with friends or even a single room that you call your own. It's a journey that seldom has any surprises in store for us but one which comes with an assurance. An assurance of going back to the place you know, to the people you know. An assurance that another day has gone by. An assurance that a new one would soon begin.


sunny said...

Dude, nice one again. I can relate to the pleasure of driving alone, humming ur fav tune, admiring the cool breeze!! Got to drive at 6 in morning a 30Km stretch in delhi! Its the best part of my day:)

anonymous coward said...

another kind of relief comes when you return the same day you set out for office :P

Shreyas said...

great post yaar, u r write brilliantly!!!

well my way back home involves gurgaon roads, so full throttle wud mean 3rd gear :P

and the sunny is obviously an amazing driver i am sure the ferrari team misses him..aa aa aaa

Juhi said...

Nice post! Makes for a pleasant read - brings back memories!

cathatfished said...

oh this is one thing abt living alone that sucks - coming back to an empty dark house. that makes me miss my mom more than anything :) even more than the stuff they pass of as food! :D

Atish said...

@cathatfished coming back to a dark empty house.. well ya that sucks... the power cuts in bangalore and the longer working hours of my flatmates have made me realize that :(