There is a kind of sickness that has no definite cure. At least the doctors in my family have not been able to prescribe any special medicine for it. The strange thing about this ailment is that you may think that you have recovered, only to realize that it comes back in some recurring pattern. If by now you have not guessed what I’m talking about, let me spell out what I’m referring to. It’s homesickness: when the heart aches and the mind simply wanders around like a floating cloud. The pre -kindergartener suffering the pangs of separation anxiety and missing home and parents could be on the same boat as an individual in his or her robust forties and fifties. Both could be caught up in the same whirl of emotions. So age is not a factor here!
Well, rather than beating about the bush and presenting theories perhaps known to all, I need to make an honest statement that this phenomenon is presently hovering over me. There’s a tag that is attached to me: that I am ruled more by the heart than by the head. As much as that annoys me when others point it out , I can’t help but admit that there is indeed a great deal of truth in it. It’s been close to a month since I returned from visiting my family ten thousand miles away. I am back to my regular routine, yet the yearning for home has been coming to me in periodic increments!
So many cycles of seasons have passed in these last two and a half decades, yet my roots are so strongly tied to my birth place. No, I am not attempting to sing a paean on patriotism here. I’m simply going on a mental excursion to those moments that are encapsulated in my entire being, the bits and pieces that are woven into a fine fabric of love and affection that keeps me warm even in the coldest moments ever.
It’s said that you never cease to be a child for your parents. Or more correctly, they feel you have not grown up. This is almost like the rule of thumb, reinforced especially if you are the youngest in the family. Your older siblings also direct their attention towards you. I definitely have maintained that status quo. The endless pampering starts from the very first breakfast of the morning I arrive. The tiredness from an almost 24-hour journey with the additional baggage of a jet-lagged body are forgotten very soon because the royalty-like treatment takes predominance.
A quote from Oprah Winfrey has always struck a chord with me: “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” I can say that for those friends who have been with me through thick and thin. The miles separate us, but every single time when I meet them, my belief in our friendship is consolidated even firmer than before.
The greatest charm of visiting the place where you grew up is that you get the feeling that the whole town is your extended family. No walk down the street is complete without bumping into countless acquaintances that I have known over the years. The camaraderie is priceless, and it’s so true that sometimes you really do want to go to a place “where everybody knows your name.”
While indulging in sweet nostalgia, I’ve also identified on a parallel level, the downsides to the trip. First, I’ve become pretty lazy. Not having lifted even a finger for three whole weeks, I have not the slightest inclination to do any chores around the house. Brewing a cup of coffee itself has become a big job for me. Second, I made a sad discovery in the weekend after I arrived that I had to make quite a few changes to my wardrobe. The non-stop eating sprees from honoring invitations all around and from visits to restaurants in search of new delicacies have obviously contributed to the pounds that I have tried so hard to keep off! So I have these two goals currently looming large: to energize myself and get to work and to hit the gym to beat the bulge.
And here ends my random ramblings from the mind as I get back to the grind but still feel the warmth of my home soil!