He carried his suit over his shoulder. His shirt was untucked, the tie was hanging low and the collar was unbuttoned. Once polished shoes were now laced with dust and mud.
Everything about him resembled a young rejected lover. He indeed felt rejected, rejected by his own hometown. He felt a sudden vibration in his pocket, it was his assistant.
He picked up the phone…
He switched his phone to Flight Mode and placed it back in his pocket. At a snail’s pace, he walked down the lane and sat on a bench, only to walk down that familiar memory lane.
Instantly, he felt a rush, a rush of flipping pages, the pages of his life which had turned back twenty years.
Bright sunshine struck his eyes as he saw a ten-year-old rushing past him in a cycle to stop in front of a playground. He got down from his cycle and pulled out his little bat from the carrier and darted to his friends. For hours, he saw himself enjoying his heart out at the lush green fields (damn! Did he love to play!), no financial pressure, not a single factor present that could take him back to the world where everyone tries to cope-up with that evil pace. He missed himself. Yellow, Punjabi, Sarees, Sindur.
All these things came to his mind when he looked at the signboard of his old club. Yes, he was thinking about Durga Puja! Those five days were pure bliss to him! No relation did he have with his studies those few days and only concentrated on pandal-hopping with his buddies! He could almost make out the silhouette of the idol from where he was sitting, and it appeared as if he could touch it if he stretched his arms a bit, he did so, but, Alas!
He used to sing, most of the popular Guruji’s sangeet hymns and melodies, they were absolutely committed to his memory, he was a reciter of some repute in his locality. So, he tried to sing again…….he started with enthusiasm but had to stop as he had forgotten most of it. City life had sucked the soul from his body like a dementor! Edwin Brock says that if you want to simply kill a man, leave him or her, in the middle of the twentieth century.
Truly, he felt dead. Starbucks might offer him the best coffee over there in New York but he longed for that steaming earthen bowl of Uncle’s Tea! He might have had loads of pizzas the “Mamas Pizzeria”, but he wanted his mamas “Luchi Torkari”(Dal-Puri) more.
Starting from the humble corridors of Saratchandra Smriti Vidyamandir, today he is the VC of a large multinational company. It was his roots that made him what he is. A tear had appeared at the corner of his eye, he took a crisp white handkerchief and pressed it against it, switched off the flight mode and
left for the concrete jungle once more!