…and soon the flight came to a halt and I made my way out after waiting for most of the flight to empty. It was a fine evening, mostly cloudy except where the Sun was on the verge of dropping off the sky. It was still 4 PM…the days were really short now. It didn’t take much time to finish the formalities and collect my baggage. Sundar, who had offered to pick me up, arrived soon and I had to go out to the drop-offs/pick up point and there the cold hit me and hit me hard. And it had also started raining in the meantime. I was back in Seattle. The vacation was over.
For me, this vacation meant a lot more than any before. This was my longest duration away from Bangalore and the shortest vacation after a long duration, usually vacations have lasted closer to 3 months. Time seemed to come to a halt, which is definitely a good thing during a vacation.
I landed in Bangalore on the 8th December morning and the journey home from the Airport felt surreal for some reason. It probably had not sunk in that I was back home. Soon, the US was off my mind, as if I could detach the one year spent here from my life and not miss anything. Almost like an afterlife where you can’t remember your previous one, in this case only that the mind never cared to remember. Sadly I realized it might also be that I could detach my Bangalore trip after a few weeks back in the US and end up with the same result.
A trip to Goa was enjoyed thoroughly before it was consigned to memories with only some nice photographs to show for it. Sometimes even those memories never seem to stand out and comfort, or cause pains of nostalgia when getting thrown up at unguarded moments. Wonder what it is about this age or stage in life where nothing seems to matter as much as you expect it to.
The return journey was filled with a heavier heart as the last moments were of my parents, aging and lonely as I watched them disappear as the taxi turned a corner. I realized that the stage where they need me to support them had arrived. This also meant that I have grown up. How much of it emotionally, only time will tell I guess. Whether I’ll be able to stand up and be strong for them, is something I wonder and hope.
Also, this was the first time I realized how much I missed Bangalore. Usually of the assumption that what I missed was Bangalore, my friends and my childhood together as a whole, this time with most friends out of the city and the rest busy, I was pretty much alone when it came to going to places and getting stuff done. Walking along old and familiar places, just the memories they held were comforting for a change. Sometimes, just watching people go about their lives in the city and being part of the city was enough. The old things were all there too- auto drivers with their extra charges, bus conductors, the hawkers, the traffic, everything. Maybe yes, cities have a soul of their own which stands apart from friends and family, which appeals to you, connects to you and binds you to it.
More than anything, this trip brought home the realization that I will return to Bangalore for good. Question is…when?