I have pages of Target and Teens Today filed in a school folder back home in Patna. And a lot of precious pictures from another era. There are old clothes in the attic, and letters dad and I wrote to each other during his long voyages. And birthday cards when friendships seemed like the only thing worth living for. There are collages, posters, and graffitis.

Sometimes I want to bring all of it to where I live. But I don’t think I will. Because all of it is not just “stuff”. Back home is where it belongs. They are the memories I go back to when I go home. Next month I will travel, and this will be different from the many other out of town trips R and I make. I have been to Ranchi twice since I got married. There is a lot of R’s stories that I have “seen”. The houses he called homes, the school, the roads, and that famous dam. I have seen his Career Launcher, and I have eaten samosas at Church Complex. If there is one thing I resent, it is that he has roots to go back to. Unlike me. With Bombay being my parents’ home for most part of the last decade, I seem to have lost the only important connection I had with Patna. And how I wish it wasn’t so. No, I don’t want my parents still living there, not till they decide it is time to return. I want the best of both worlds, and well, that is wishing for the impossible. At least for the next decade or so.

So all I have is stolen moments. This trip was planned months in advance to make sure “we” are all in Patna at the same time. R has not been there since the wedding, and it kills me to know that there is a huge part of my history he doesn’t know much about. Oh who am I kidding. He knows, he has heard all there was to hear. But he still hasn’t “seen” that extended window sill in my bed room, where I used to plan my future. He hasn’t seen that study table where I did not study. He hasn’t seen that living room I used to make my home the minute ma would step out of the house, because many years ago, small families had one TV in the living room, and a family desktop, and neighbours. He has not “seen” my school, the lawns, the tennis tables where we did not play tennis. He hasn’t gone with me to the bank of the river on a chilly November morning, to celebrate Chhatth. He hasn’t eaten the Chinese in Banjara, or mausi ke ghar ki kheer.

I am very, very excited about this trip next month. Because for all the history we share in our conversations, there is still so much to know, so much to see. He and his Ranchi, me and my Patna :)

This might just be the best of both worlds.

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3 Responses to

  1. Scarlett says:

    The Chinese at Banjara….yummmmm!

    BTW, there were no TT tables in school!

    Like

  2. Tamanna says:

    There were! These cement structures in a row, on the right, just outside the Big Field. We used to have lunch there. You remember now?

    Like

  3. Roxy says:

    LOVE this post. Resonates with me on so many levels. That need to get the other person to 'see' and 'feel' all that you have seen and felt, sometimes is so consuming. And beautiful. Lovely post.

    Like

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