Waiting outside after the class was over, I realised that I had not signed in the attendance log. I have never been good at scoring points in subjects, and this class had points for attendance. So I ran back to find Dr.Wu still in class, 15 minutes after class was over, explaining things and generally just talking to students. Her eyes are really wise, and she is always in a hurry, looking like a scared deer. When she talks, her diction is prefect and her words trail softly into nothingness.
I dont know where my days and minutes are going. I have this growing uneasiness within, a dissatisfaction with things in general. I feel like I do when I get off the bus to find I am at the wrong place. Reminds me of the days I spent in New Delhi with my sister’s family. I used to leave home early in the morning, and board some bus to get to a bigger bus-station. Then from there I used to board the bus with the most promising, beautiful name, or which promises to take me to “Chandni Chowk” or “Mayur Vihar” or some similar attractively named place. The results weren’t always good. I used to wonder, “well, why is this dump called Mayur Vihar?” Life’s like that at times. You board buses that take you across distances in time, and when you get down at the destination, you know its not the right place. When you realise that there is no bus that will take you back, the heart sinks.
I miss voices in my life, besides the “hows it going”s and the “have a nice day”s. I miss the cocunut trees and the bougainvillae.
Srinath Perur, the one who called me “the cow-eyed one” once described a depressed malayali roommate he had thus- “He would just lie endlessly on the bed with one leg crossed on top the other, with a couple of pillows under his head and be content with watching the fan revolve slowly. Endlessly. I guess he was perpetually missing the coconut trees of Kerala.”
Another time and place, maybe 4 years ago and at REC Warangal, I would have spent today lying in my bed doing nothing but killing mosquitoes or flies, but now, I have to work, because it feeds me, and because my life is no longer mine alone (was it, ever?)
Material diversions cannot make up for the lack of real people.