The Mole on My Right Foot

It feels like ages since I wrote and it is true, the last one that I wrote dates June 20th more than a month ago.

I will tell you with audacity that I escaped. I absconded to a place where my stubbornness took me and I was thankful to that.  I escaped into the hills, the woods and the waters. I succumbed to the lust of highlands and meadows and not even for a second the thought of acting reckless disrupted my activities.

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Isn’t it always that way, when you look through the changing geography outside the tempered glass of your AC compartments, you come to this sudden epiphany that you are not visiting places, you are visiting yourself. The second of thought when you realize, lets be selfish in finding what’s lost within me.  And it even gets worse when its night and you don’t know why but staring at the darkness seems irresistible.

When I left my job and came home, I was in this state, where my mother pointed out I was taking the nihilism route. And a few days later and with the help of THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY, I deduced that of all the things from my bucket list travelling was brimming the charts. It wasn’t until my mom said how my dad would always complain that I have never come home for more than a week, ever since I left my college.

“You’ve no idea how badly I want to travel”, I remember saying this to my dad and within a fortnight we were travelling. But what my dad kept in the store that it was an elaborate road trip talking us through routine landscape involving mountain roads and passing clouds (and some ice) which turned out to be the greatest plan to beat the summer.

Before I open up my travel chronicles on reminiscence, I have to confess that we didn’t travel a lot when we were little. My dad was stationed as a permanent employee at this company where he still works and so it didn’t leave much scope for us to travel. Although once in a while, I still remember that we would go to my grandma’s place and rejoice.

I guess maybe that is where I got my bug from. I have a lot of friends from army and banks who traveled across the country and almost 90% of them hated that life, only if they would have seen it from my eyes, they would have known it was like a dream. So yes, there is that.

As my brain was weighing the potential of ONE FIFTH AVENUE to keep me entertained while travelling I packed my bags, ironed my clothes, wrapped my shoes and listened to “ON TOP OF THE WORLD” in a loop I made a brain note of keeping my fingers crossed. I didn’t want to jinx it.

Yes, whenever I traveled, I would be super excited about it. It isn’t like I was travelling for the first time but I will not say that I have traveled enough (that would be nirvana). But for whatever reason I know this, that to all of us this brings a lot of emotions in common, anxiety and nostalgia.

Now that I am back home, relaxing my back as the rains descend from the sky, I am done with the anxiety part of travelling, I am eagerly waiting for my nostalgia to kick in whilst realizing the chemistry of travel as a perfect cocktail of adrenaline, serotonin and endorphin and all such happy hormones. 

 

P.S: The title comes from the infamous superstition that having a mole on the right foot means you have immense love for travelling and it’s a true statement i.e. I do have a mole on my right foot.

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कोलकाता (Kolkata)

Kolkata! Why Kolkata?” He exclaimed.

“I don’t know, it’s close to home maybe that’s why.” I said, in a hustle to get over that question.

“You people are so home sick.” He said, which was offensive.

“I don’t care about home that much actually. I am getting a job there, so I’m going. I got no calls from Delhi and I don’t see the point of going there without a job.” I explained him.

“Ohk! Ohk! Sorry!”

“You better be. I never cried even when I left my home for college.”

Now that I’m writing it I realize that I was actually very much affronted. And that’s not actually why I worked in Kolkata, I admit, the only reason I went to Kolkata was that I wanted to stay away from everybody whom I knew before.

I just wanted to reboot and I wanted it to be my “the night time”. The thoughts are always more clear. Even though there is no daylight, you are able to see crystal and your thoughts are much discernible.

And maybe that was one of the reasons why it took me no time to fall in love with that place as well. I had no one who knows me and I had nothing else to do in the city. With a job with which I would be able to pay my room rent and meals, I was more than happy. My place of work was at walking distance and I had a pretty awesome time eating egg rolls and sweets.

It wasn’t until the end of my training that I applied to an actual job at some companies in Kolkata that I have made up my mind to stay in this city a little longer and by that it meant an year. And man-o-man that one year passed in a jiffy and that peregrination was marvelous. Right from visiting some of the most beautiful Ghats along the Ganges to ogling at old British monuments, my life just couldn’t get any better.  

But now that my time in the city is over and I have moved back to my home town, it is one of those days when I have the house to myself, I wondered what to write about and that’s when it struck me.

Homesickness, nostalgia are things that I do not often experience, if anybody accuses claims that I had these, it pisses me off. Not that anybody has to ashamed of having these totally humane emotions; it’s just not the person that I am or maybe I am.

While experiencing rain from my balcony, it prompted me of Kolkata.

‘Why did I go to Kolkata?’ I pondered and the answer was just the same, you wanted to be alone.

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‘Why did I leave Kolkata? I was still alone and I loved it.’

The lenience of my arrival and departure from this city was extremely expedient. I didn’t ask anyone, if I should stay or leave and it was my very own choice.

Life is so much easier when you do not have options. Life is so much convenient when you don’t have influences. You actually get a chance to make your own decisions based on your own constraints and without being judged by anyone. That sent me to pursuit the reason for the same query.

Why did I leave Kolkata?

I recollected that I wondered the same thing, as I was driving past the Maidan with the rain splashing on the taxi window making every visual of the pale dark blue and vivid green blurry.

Indeed, I found something far more extraordinary than what one expects from a city. Yes, a REBOOT was what I needed when I came here and that was exactly what I was going to get when I left. Because, my time in this city was done and I wanted to move on. Because I wanted to try new options that my career had to offer and it wasn’t possible in this city. Because, there was a new city, waiting for me out there, holding another cherished experience and memories, like this one. Just like before, this choice and thought gave me a lot of positive attitude and happiness as I was sensing that abode’s voodoo again. It gave me joy on influx and it was giving me joy even on my exit.

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As I sat here at my home staring at the visually clear view of the rains, the same pale blue skies and greenery, it was no surprise when I realized that that city was indeed THE CITY OF JOY.

4.5

I LOOKED AT THE CLOCK. IT WAS 10:50 PM.

I thought who sleeps at this time. I realized my mom and dad have already slept. I thought it was just yesterday when I was out on a night-out with my friends. I thought how carefree and carelessly we danced all night on the craziest (chindiest) possible song. The super- awesome mujra done by them on “salaam-e-ishq meri jaan”. I thought just this afternoon we were thinking if we can party or not, how people were running around to find a single place which permits us for a night-out (with girls). The last chai at “sharma. It was quite usual five friends drinking tea together, nothing special about that. Five friends drinking tea together “one last time in college”, how ‘bout that?” Suddenly the location for the discussion never felt so lifeless (not literally).

I thought, just yesterday, we were standing in front of two absolute strangers, looked into their eyes and spoke our guts out. It was just yesterday that our juniors took the responsibility of my model in their hands and forced me to sleep. It was just yesterday that the stupid Hinoo wala printed the wrong sheet on a gateway paper. It was just yesterday that I finalized my report and gave it to print. It was just yesterday that we gave our WD submissions.

I thought, how can I forget the 26 sleepless hours (I know, 24) every day. How can I forget that Diwali was our last “vacation to our home”. How can I forget my birthday when I literally had to call people up and tell’em that it was my birthday and begged them to meet me at IC for a cup of coffee.  How can forget our last movie “SKYFALL” and the entire hostel lobby echoing with the Adele’s title track.

I thought, of our first movie “Bachnna e haseeno”. That reminded me of Abhmanyu’s Birthday. That reminded me of Krisna (the place with strangest set of waiters). That reminded me of Kaveri. That reminded me of Promita (the first girl I met in college) leaving. That reminded me of our first day. That reminded me of our department. That reminded me of “the walk” with our seniors on either side of departmental lobby. That reminded me of Ajay Khare sir. That reminded me of Rachna ma’am. That reminded me of Ritu ma’am.

I thought, It was just yesterday, that Ritu ma’am scolded me for my entire batch being “ridiculous” because we couldn’t manage one meeting where she would brief us about out training. That reminded me of Mitra ma’am saying how much we are habituated of listening to such “compliments”. That reminded me of my batch; the dumb puppet, most useless, absolutely pathetic, hopeless, most inefficient and worst batch ever.

I thought, about all the 30/37 students who passed in TOSS. I thought of all the students 33/37 students who passed in UNIX and C. I thought of the other batches and their best results. I thought of their best averages.

I thought of our juniors. That reminded me of 2K12, how I feel sorry for them, I thought of the time which some of them still have to run away from this hell. I thought, of 2k11, the people with whom we girls shared our lobby. I thought of their laugh which we copied till they stopped. That reminded me of 2k10, how they left us in the old hostel and shifted in the new ones. I thought how far I walked every time I had to go to their lobby. That reminded me of 2K9. I thought of…… well I passed the thought.

I thought how quickly time flies. I shook my head to clear my thoughts.

I LOOKED AT THE CLOCK. IT WAS 10:51 PM.