It’s abundantly overpowering when you are compelled to travel to a place you had left behind long back and have not re-visited since…..
OVERWHELMING! That’s how I would describe my sudden and unexpected travel to my place of birth, Kanpur. A city that doesn’t shy of chaos yet offers a semblance of order in its maze of meandering lanes of pandemonium, it’s mayhem of cycle rickshaws, e-rickshaws, cows, cars two-wheelers, bicycles and what have you, sharing space, yet each being able to find a gap and own direction to the destination. An irony of peaceful coexistence!
It was homecoming. A going back to my Atlantis, the lost world, took me whirling down memory lane. Reminisce time. More youthful days, time spent with my parents, siblings, cousins, extended family and friends. A rush of moments – joyous and celebratory, sad and regrettable, delectable, delightful and abhorrent jostled with each other seeking the primary place. Quite a surge, a sea of reactions that contradicted each other whilst memories of events experienced then seemed to bob to the surface, with surprising accuracy of details; something that I struggle to manage in the current times when my memory and I are the best of enemies not happy in each other’s company.
In the middle of all this it turned into a time for reflection, introspection, a sombre quiet questioning of SELF to understand what it was that had been done, pulled off and achieved in these two odd decades that had slipped past into oblivion. A slippery yesterday nudged me telling me of days of yore. The eel- years mockingly challenged me to stay put, unchanged. But move I did, had to- onward. Drag pulling me along with them the years and I found myself in another world. That of new faces, relationships, different value systems and perspectives. A new genre that I needed to comprehend, to adapt to. And I did. Transformed into something I had at that time not imagined I would.
But that discovery is for another day. Now is the time, to press the refresh button unfurling pages hidden under the cover of fresh, newly created memories. It’s that time when I need to build a bridge, a truly longstanding one towards my cousin who’s moved to the higher realms. The years of disconnect between us jibe at me. Disdainful, they tend to teach me about what I have missed out whilst being smug in the thought of having surged ahead like a winner who’s made grave and significant conquests. Conquests of a vanquisher who happens to be both the conquered and the conqueror: Conqueror of success, conquered by Time. Schooling me on a lesson or two about how it is deceptively developmental. It’s defiantly deviant. How it’s dedicatedly disparaging.
Time chides from the background, softly, gently like an invisible yet significant presence; reminding me that no matter how much I try to stay abreast of it, it’s sure to race ahead and turn around at the ultimate finishing line, showing off that I couldn’t ever really beat him in this increasingly rushed existence. In a reproachful tone it asks to slow down, Review, Reconnect and Reconstruct: Rebuild Relationships.