Monday, March 20

countryroads...take me home

I left the frenzied arrogant afternoons of my here - and - now and went home to what Erich Segal would say “retrieve my childhood tricycle". Yes, my childhood was littered all over the place. In half written old diaries and musty stacks of India today dated 1990. A moth eaten cover, a clammy face of a half - man- half- boy in flames.

He was the manifestation of an axe through a nation's undivided psyche, a charred face that jolted me off my childhood. And threw my generation off guard.
A restless generation walked out to begin life rendering a quarter of homes in Bihar man less and in some cases womanless (is there a word like that?) but I was told to write a happy post by those who care.
I tried being happy as soon as the overly- delayed -yet- least- embarrassed Air India flight landed at childhood world. I smiled back when I paid 130 bucks to a rickety auto ride from Airport to Boring Road. Smiled indulgently when he stopped to fill gas and squabbled endlessly at the gas station.
I smiled through the rows of mushrooming coaching centers appended with the fungal growth of lodges that housed many a “the great middle class IIT dream".
I smiled through the smoke lit chowmein & egg roll carts.
I smiled through old man and wife's shrunk world, hung to badly churned TV news interrupted by the blip of battery that runs their idiot box. I smiled through the old man’s undeterred hope in the electrical – engineer - turned student - activist who rules the State. "Nitish is a clean guy", he said with unmingled enthusiasm, "things will change".

I smiled at the static contours of my neighborhood and their unbridled interest in my single status.

“And why did you not marry?” they asked matter-of –factly, several times that evening.

I smiled at this neighborhood kid who was writing his Board exams, the most negligent participant in whether -plus – two – or – college discussion in my Holi stained living room.
I smiled till I wanted to scream.

A loud screeching voice through the silence of night in a dark afraid forest that wakes the dead.

But I stifled the sound till it dissolved within.

And I could smile one last time as the train pulled off from childhood tracks to a world where I had unfinished business.

11 comments:

shikha said...

have a good time!

Ajit Chouhan said...

Hey too good:-)

Your best one so far ,straight from the heart....I'm delighted beyond words.It was really worth waiting.I guess only a true Patnaiya can feel the emotions of your post.

I dont mind reading it thousand times.Thanks for this post.Loved it.

Anuradha said...

I like the way your digs at politics, airline delays, education, and other "not so lyrical stuff" blend into your otherwise lyrical flows! This is not just true of this post...but many others!

The One said...

Shuchika- The course started last Sunday. Its a six Sunday thing in Versova. You can call Gayatri on 98204 38314.

Sorry for the delay in the response. Been travelling.

truespirit said...

Came across your blog couple of days back. I am sure you know it by now, but I'll still say it, you write very well. What I find fascinating about ur blog is the comfort with which you share your private moments and thoughts with known and unknown people. It's not very easy!
And yeah, your book, when it is published will definitely find place in my personal library.

Raps said...

ooooo! The juxtaposition of the two worlds like from frying pan to the oven is sad. Solace anywhere? ;)

shuchika said...

thanks ajit, never been praised so profusely.

anuradha - welcome back.

the one- thanks for gayatri's number, spoke to her, she sounds ok.

truespirit - someone in another life once told me that i wasnt a writer at all. i was an intense person who could write only when i felt like it, i was strongly advised never to tak writing as a career.thanks for your compliments. it did make my day to know that my yet to be written book will be read by one more person apart from myself.

raps - welcome back. great to have you around.

truespirit said...

Hi
I am sure u'll find more than one reader, definitely:) btw hv added ur link on my blog

Gautam Ghosh said...

tum bhi bihari...arre hum bhi to patna mein paida hue they !

:-)

On a serious note, just read the bit about turning 29. So which 'bits' of your HR job do you still love?

Gautam

swati sahai bhoumick said...

hmmm...i think i preferred 29 to countryroads..you know i have immense liking and respect for your writing...its wistful and tugs at you...do send me anything else you've written...more of the book , script or dicumentary...anything ...waiting to devour it...

geminijesus said...

That was clean
Touched every bit of my life except that most of it in Ranchi was well lived and Exhausted so nothing to turn back and ponder on
" Jahan Jism jala hain wahan Dil bhi jala Hoga
Kuradthe hain jo Rakh to Justoozo kiya hain "
Except probabaly that 6 Years guy whom I had promised so many things If I get to close to Mumbai , so many dreams to buy there
Do Invite me sometime sis
In libert
Sonu