BEING HOME FOR THIS DIWALI

by Allwin Bright

After 6 long months I was on my way back to Home for this Diwali. Going back to home after quite sometime was in itself was a joyful feeling. Traveling in a train sipping a hot cup of coffee on a rainy morning with the cold breeze blowing through my hair made the journey even more enchanting. After biding  good-bye to a couple of new friends I made during the journey I hired an auto to home. I knocked the door and it was my sister who opened the door.

She was super-excited. “Maa… Its Anna…. Hey, You never told us that you were coming Home”

“Yeah…  I wanted to give all of you a pleasant surprise. So here I am.” I smiled at her

Mom was busy working in the kitchen. She thought that my sister was fooling around. ” Don’t keep fooling around playing such tricks with me like you’ve always been doing. I have work  here in the Kitchen.” She said

“Maa I am not playing any trick with you this time. He is really here. See it for yourself.”

“Why does this girl even have vacations ? I wish she had colleges throughout the year.” Mom disgustedly walked out of the kitchen.

She was stunned to see me. . . She couldn’t hold back the tears of Joy. Six months, It must have felt like an eternity for her.

“So, you are back…” She sighed

“Yes Maa…” I smiled at her

“How long you’ll be staying Home this time?”

“I am on leave for 15 days.  So I’ll staying at Home for TENNNN days. Happy?”

She was worried about it because the last time I came home the schedule was so hectic that I stayed at Home only for a day. I could see that how relieved she felt after knowing that I could spend enough time at home this time.

“Did you get enough sleep on your journey back to home? Your eyes… They look so tired.”

“Yes Maa, I’ve had enough sleep. Only thing is that I am hungry now and I haven’t eaten good food for a long time.”

“Breakfast is ready. Have a shower and we shall have breakfast.”

I had a shower and Breakfast was served. I had a satiating breakfast after a long long time. I couldn’t help but wonder why does everything taste better when Mom cooks?

Me and my sister were now fighting for the T.V. remote. It’s war when it comes to the T.V. remote.

“You better back off I’m watching that movie now.” She said

I didn’t care. I just snatched the remote from her.

“Maaaaaaaa….” She yelled.

Mom was disgusted “When will you two ever learn to behave like grown-ups. It hasn’t been even a few minutes that he has entered home and you’ve started. He has come home after such a long time. Stop squabbling with him.” She blurted out

My sister, She let me have the remote half heartedly.

I couldn’t see her dull losing a quarrel with me. Its a thing about being the elder brother. I chuckled and  let her have the remote.

Mom had a smile upon her face. She might have thought “Some people never change.”

Just then, Dad had come. He was happy to see me but, he wasn’t excited.

He asked “When did you come Home, Son?”

“Just now Paa…”

“How is work there?”

“So far so good Paa.”

“Good… Did you have your breakfast? ”

“I had it just now Paa”

That was it. He walked into his room

Dad was a totally different person. He seldom expressed his love and affection but, we all very well knew that if there was someone who cared so much about me and about my sister. It was him.

Late in the evening I was in my room gazing at the window enjoying the heavy downpour for quiet sometime. The downpour settled to a slight drizzle after sometime. I took out the journal from my bag and started writing. I started writing a journal when I was away from home. Now this had become a habit. It did not take long to write a journal entry for the day. I skimmed through the journal. It felt like I was reliving my past – Painfully getting through those back logs in the final semester, Anxious moments during the campus interviews, Celebration, Farewell, Offer letter for a job in a reputed company, Corporate training, Frisbee and Rugby games, Birthday treats and so on.

I couldn’t go go further behind into my past with my journal but, every single thing in the room took me back to the past and it reminded me of something or the other.

I could see mischievous 12 year old me running around over the place. The notebooks I used during the school days were still there. It was Dad who insisted on keeping all my used books and notebooks instead of selling it to the paper scrap dealer. Flipping through the  pages I could see how my handwriting had evolved as years went by. Big fat books of Physics and Chemistry still  lay in my bookshelf.  It was reminiscent of me using them as pillows more often than not while studying late into the night to wake up in the morning to find that I had drooled all over it.

Rival Street Cricket matches, Endless fights, Burning the mid-night oil on the day before the examinations… I was a having  a flashback.

Its one thing to be back home after quiet sometime, its another to feel wistful after being hit by nostalgia.

Strange isn’t it?

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