As one moves on in life, situations and surroundings change and each change brings with itself a new perspective. Each perspective in turn adds on to one's kitty of thoughts, memories and learning, which at the end of the day, when one looks back at a life led, makes the life look full and complete. Does that sound abstract enough? Maybe. But a change from a certain way of life certainly makes you think back on the life that was, and appreciate all the smaller things that you perhaps leave behind. This and my undying love for maximum city formed the basis of my writings on 'All that I leave behind - Part I to IV, with many more to follow. And now, on my small 'back home' sojourn, I have begun to look at All that I left behind with a deeper shade of nostalgia and an even greater appreciation towards the smaller things that make life ... complete.
Ok, so let me cut to the chase. For me, life is a collage of incidents. What makes the whole thing beautiful is the way in which some people manage to make this collage very colorful and pretty, and each time you think back about this collage, you come out with a huge smile on your face.
So here is a small list of things I came back to.
- A place where they don't make Lauki and Turai together (I have no idea what those vegetables are. My mess made those two vegetable dishes look identical, and Aneesha's reaction that betrayed something like 'SACRILEGE! TREASON! PUNISHMENT FOR SUCH A CRIME SHOULD BE DEATH BY THE GUILLOTINE!!!' kinda gave me the idea that maybe... just maybe these two vegetables don't go together.
- Filter coffee - the elixir of life. The magical brown nectar that is the essence of a southie's life.
- Rains - the real deal. Monsoons where clouds gather, winds blow, the environs get cloudy and romantic, aaaaaaaaaaaaand, surprise surprise - IT RAINS AS WELL!!!
- Trains, buses and traffic jams - When one misses every aspect of the city, these things that form the life of the city, are missed as well. I missed the noise, the vibrancy, the continuous lively chatter of the city.
- My people. People who have been with me through different walks of life. Such people, after meeting whom, I come back with sweeter memories. Chief, who of his own, remembered my birthday and called me up while I was sitting alone and homesick in a remote room on campus, missing home, friends, and getting tense about exams! Chief, who when I went to meet him the other day got out of an important meeting, just to come and talk with me for a while! Nadu and Bakhtu, - my first friends in the corporate world, the sweetest people ever, Teepoo, who only counted down to my time of arrival in Mumbai some 1000 times, Bond and Rohit, JC, Sangy, Shilpu, all from a part of my life I had left behind over a year ago! Why? There was no reason why they took the time out of work to spend time with me. There was no reason why they spent time with me and then worked late that evening, to catch up with deadlines. With tiny gestures, they effectively made one person very very happy. And then, my kiddie buddy, Archi, who still counts me as an important part of her life, in spite of all the myriad changes happening in her life. And what matters the most to me is the fact that after meeting all these people, their statement to me is, 'it felt so nice to see you after so long!' My day was effectively made!
But the fact of the matter is, that spending time away from all these things that matter to me has made me appreciate them all the more. Things which till now were taken as a given, now mean a lot more to me, than they did before. All I can say is - VIVA LA VIDA! three cheers to life in all its forms - family, friends, city, home, people and relationships.