The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Goodbye and so long

I shuffled uneasily as dad asked for the 18th time if the passport was safe in the cabin luggage. ‘Don’t forget to take it out when you get to the ticket counter’, he continued. ‘And be safe with it’. I nodded; even monosyllabic replies were getting to be a drag. It was a couple of minutes past ten and the Asianet news bulletin was running without an audience. Today it was not a point of contention. The remote lay strangely orphaned. There was no me screaming for it to be switched to something less important; something more exciting; something that’s not red flagged protesters marching on the streets of Trivandrum in the name of news. But there was that strange ‘you watch what you want’ silence today that was uneasy. The tiff for television monopoly was better. Can I have it back please, I hoped. Leaving home can never be easy, can it?

I stared through the cab window as we whistled through the silent night. Familiar territories. And memories. All streaming past at 60 kilometers per hour. And in a jiffy they’d be all gone. And new landscapes will appear out of glass windows. Unfamiliar and alien.

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There was a cool breeze in the air when I got off the cab. The sky inky blue and all that. More paranoid questions from dad. Let me go get my boarding pass and check in the luggage, I suggested to break the stifling silence. Baggage counters; the waiting for the validation and the printing of the boarding pass. Can I have a window seat please? Bored looking policemen on night shift. The news re-run streaming grainy on the television set. I am my dad’s son. Paranoia. I check if the ticket in my hand reads London as it should. Metal detectors. How I fuckin hate them. The buckle of my god damn belt and the beeping; and the frisking. I got no hash on me, I swear it. All clear and I get a move on. Dumbschmuck me now realizes that the outside world is cordoned off. I call mom on the mobile and tell her to take care. I shall be back. In a year. Or probably a bit longer. Tears probably welling up in her eyes and all that. I sit there in the airport lounge trying to concentrate on the television. It’s a blur.

***************************
[A year and a half later]

I rolled over and stared at the clock. The gloom outside, the fully drawn curtains and the lazy subconscious self had all plotted to betray the reality that was nine o clock. I tugged at the duvet and hoped today was not today. Why could it not be one of those normal days where nothing really happened; where you could go through the motions like in a well rehearsed play, knowing fully well what would happen next. A year and half is a long time. That ‘I think I should go back home’ moment had materialized. But like an actor who when its time for the curtains to be drawn, I had that ‘let me live on; don’t turn the lights off me’ feeling.

Tomorrow I shall be airborne and the day after I shall be home. And this brick walled house at the end of Hall Road will only be a place I once lived in. The eighty year old neighbour, whom I scarcely met, will probably never again be seen. And all those regular people, whom you crossed paths with but never spoke to, will dissolve from the memory like salt in water. There are bags to pack, goodbye’s to tell and a new life to look upto. And despite what they say about how you can come back to any place, can’t help but think - can I ever come back to this place in this time?

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Penguin said...

Welcome home machi :-)

February 05, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mind blowing !

--Bebo

February 05, 2008 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a moving post macha! feeling home-sick after reading this :-(

-Laxman.

February 07, 2008 8:34 AM  
Blogger Bikerdude said...

I'd given up on checking for new posts in your blog for a while, and was delighted to see 2 juicy ones waiting for me :)

Welcome back macha. Thames nal ___ tholdid saaku. Benglur welcomes you with open (slightly scuffed) arms :)

February 07, 2008 10:32 PM  
Blogger Piscean Angel said...

Very nice post, as usual. :-)

February 11, 2008 3:08 AM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@penguin -> and i think we missed one another :(

@Bebo -> thanks.

@Lax -> wrong time to read it brother. You got a nice long stint at New Jersey. Enjoy it.

@Bikerdude -> Thanks for nt giving up on me bro. We should probably meet some time. Whatsay?

@Piscean angel -> Hey thanks for catching up and reading every single one :)

February 13, 2008 9:31 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Hey, this was neatly written. Keep posting dude!

February 26, 2008 9:52 AM  
OpenID gcmouli said...

I totally understand your feeling when you left the US. I did my Phd For 5.5 years, and the day I left there, was a little touching as well. All those familiar surroundings were going past in a blur.

April 22, 2008 1:03 AM  
Blogger Neens said...

Awesome read :) well found something to read by when i need a break.. almost gives the reader visual view :D n that whats sets u apart ...

January 10, 2011 4:53 AM  

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