When you go home after a long time.

As we go through our lives, our family, our education and then our jobs, decide the places where live. Some of these places leave indelible marks on the ‘organic HDD’ inside our skull. We remember the smells, the landmarks and the characters we observed or engaged with, during our time of stay. I spent my childhood and most of my youth in Patna and then moved out in 2004. Since then, Patna became just a vacation hot-spot for me. But each time I come back…it looks different..sometime unrecognizable…all those empty plots in our colony-scape which acted as water harvesting ponds in the rainy season, now filled up with a sparkling (but devoid of any emotional connect) concrete structures. Characters which were always there…gone…’expired’. Sharmaji…the electrician…the one-stop-shop for all our electrical issues which couldn’t be resolved in-house, with a ‘tester’ or a screw-driver. When-ever I saw him, he was weaving copper wires through a ceiling fan hub. Now, there is no Sharmaji…and quite naturally no Sharma electricals. There was one Upadhyayji…his sweets shop didn’t have any sign-board, but the taste of his jalebis and samosas didn’t need any advertisement. If you reach more than 30 minutes after he started frying samosas…rest assured, you will return home with some cold ‘vegetable chops’ as a consolation. His shop now devoid of his ‘ganji-lungi’ clad presence. There is this temple for Maa Gayatri in our school going route and on normal days we shall just do a short-hand pranam….but on exam days..Gayatri Maa got our full attention and elaborate request about which chapters of the book should the question paper be based on. She did good…we didn’t fail in any exam whose syllabus she was aware of. She is still there….here abode made bigger, glitzier and louder…looks like she did much bigger stuff than just helping some random school-kids. So many other changes which have happened for the good, the bad or the ugly…depending on how you felt about it earlier…that’s what the ‘fourth dimension’ from Interstellar does to you.

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