"There comes a time in a man's life when he must find his way home, for whether he knows it or not at the time, the silken ties that bind him are tugging at his heart." - Venkat
I flew to Bengaluru over the weekend, extended to a 4 day trip by taking Monday off. It was my first trip home since March, over 6 months previously, when I had managed to catch Iron Maiden's maiden India visit, but had simultaneously lost out on the creation of memories back at MICA.
So I flew in on Friday night, knocked out cold due to the exhaustion of the 2 Music Today events of the previous 2 days, with my new hat propped over my face while I slept, like I had seen them do in the movies. Hence, I managed to escape being the nervous wreck that I usually end up being on flights. I was nervous and excited after I landed though. How would this trip turn out to be? Would it make me yearn longingly for a shift? Or would it shatter my dreams and make me realise that I was better off in Delhi?
I was faced with my old room. I had demanded the colours of its walls while I was sitting in MICA, but I've hardly spent any time in this room once it changed colour. I had battled many nights here. Delhi, in a lot of ways, was meant to be a fresh start. I was leaving all the baggage behind. I managed to make a clean break of things...almost. The thoughts assuaged me, the feelings surged and ebbed battering me, the mind dwelled on the past, on what could have been if only, the heart wept copiously and painfully, willing itself to believe in God just so that it could give itself hope of a miracle.
I survived the night, and subsequent nights. Am I healing? The next morning was a classic morning. The newspaper in a nice airy living room accompanied by steaming hot filter coffee (though I also know how to make it now, the old fashioned style). I spent most of the day going through the flood of mails that had accumulated over the last couple of days, and doing my bit of usual internet surfing and reading. The evening brought with it a visit to my grandmother followed by dinner in one of my favourite restaurants, exclusive to Bengaluru, Casa Piccola. Again, memories!
The next day, Sunday, I went to a theatre meeting of the first theatre group I was part of, BLT (Bangalore Little Theatre). It's grown by leaps and bounds over the years since, and makes me rue the fact that I've only spent about 6 months in Bengaluru in the 3.5 years since I graduated from college. A play reading was to happen with the playwright sitting amongst us. It was great, a great play, and the plans of rehearsed reading and performances made me wish my return to Bengaluru and miss such a professional set-up of which I could be a part in Delhi.
I met old friends that evening, as well as the next, some whom I hadn't seen since school and college. It was brilliant. I see life flowing on in Bengaluru. I was a part of that river of life, till I hit a stumbling block that made me take a detour. And now, I am part of my own stream, but it is an alien stream, and will remain so for the longest time, despite my sincere efforts to make it home. And then, when I finally convert this stream to achieve a more homely feel, what will happen to my home river? Will I ever be able to go back and be a part of it? And if and when I do, will it still be home? Or will it become as alien as Delhi is now to me? I already feel like an outsider. I barely feel like I'm a Bangalorean. And now the name's changed.
I also did a bit of shopping, mostly window, but I did manage to restrict myself to only one book at Landmark, after much heartburn though. So far, the book's turned out well. I now also feel that I should have probably called more people and met more people. Next time, then.
As I sat in the airport lounge, after just having seen my brother off to his MICA flight and having waved the goodbyes to my parents, I was seriously considering not going back. What would happen if I did not board that Delhi-bound flight? What could the worst consequence possibly be? Nothing came to my mind that made me recoil in terror.
I did a lot of soul-searching that weekend in Bengaluru. I saw the city creaking under its own weight, ready to implode. But I wanted to come back and help it survive and grow, not run away and cower in Delhi. I saw the difference in the freedom that I had in Delhi and at home, and freedom is a big necessity when you are a young man-about-town ready to paint it red. But I also saw the difference in the quality of life, the possibilities of living a full and meaningful life, something that I'm trying to do in Delhi, but it just seems so much easier in Bengaluru.
I watched a lot of Discovery and affiliated channels in Bengaluru. It made me see how small and worthless my life is currently. What am I doing? Helping sell more and more CDs? How am I helping society, the community, the earth? People out there are doing such good and I have to be stuck in a place I don't like worrying about meetings, dates and deadlines in order to earn more money for the company by stuffing music down people's throats. It made me rethink my life completely and I now have a more concrete goal and place to be and things to do. I feel very peaceful. Now I just have to figure out other stuff, like how and where I can do this.
All in all, a very satisfying trip. Now, when I get a little breather from my work, I'll sit and figure out all this stuff that needs figuring out, viz. my life.