Thursday, May 28, 2009

Homecoming, again

I had to go home last week.
I say, 'Had to.'

One grandfather's gone, the other on his way probably. Must go and see.

Started as late as possibly could.
Stayed with the old man long enough, and thus,

delayed reaching home as much as possible.

Once at home talked as less as possible.

Polite, courteous, distant.

Mother tried to initiate conversation.
Gave polite replies that couldn't lead to lengthy conversation.

She got the message, and retired to her bed room, hurt.

In the morning, asked if I needed any money.

That cruel question, again.

No specific need, I said.
If u want to give, there's the bank account. I added.

Stick it down your throat, I said in my mind.

She gave me some money.
'Thanks' I said, and shoved the money inside my wallet.
'No big deal', I said in my mind.

She then offered me some of the jackfruit halwa she'd made.
An exquisite delicacy, very difficult to make too.
I said sure, and thanks.

U cant replace harsh words with sweet taste, I said in my mind.

I was about to get on my bike and commenced the rather elaborate procedure of cold-starting an old Royal Enfield motorcycle

She came rushing with a hurriedly made packet.
I didn't even ask her what it was. I was already late.

Or may be I didn't care.

I asked her to toss it somewhere into my bag.

She did, and i did not think any further about it.

I returned to my quarters at the large teaching hospital where until recently I was a student,
And am now at a no-man's land between being a student and an independent professional.

Was drenched to the skin. That and a fall into a rain drain, having lost control in the heavy downpour.

Called in a leave for the day, surfed net for a while, went to sleep.

Woke up late in the afternoon.

It was raining outside my window. Moisture peeping into the room through cracks in the ceiling.

I was cold and lonely and hurt and hungry.

There was no food.

There was no heat and no warmth either.

I remembered the packet that mother had tossed into the bag. Fished my hand inside the bag and found the packet.

A half-finished bag of chips, and in another plastic cover, one last ariyunda out of a packet for a dozen.

All that she had in the house.

All that she had.

If only I could have a good cry..


  1. I am sorry was unable to comment on your blog because of the setting issues. So the delay. I did like the deapth of your post..but was unable to undersatnd the reason of the pain.

  2. This be the verse - Philip Larkin

    They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
    They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
    And add some extra, just for you.

    But they were fucked up in their turn
    By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
    And half at one another's throats.

    Man hands on misery to man.
    It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
    And don't have any kids yourself.
    As a son to a mother now no more, I am filled with regrets of having been a thankless progeny.Now as a father to a teenager, I witness the repetition of history... Love them when you can, because when they leave, they take your hatred along with them...

    Very touchingly written, Gopu!

  3. Thank you, Bala and sujatha.

    Pain can be deceptive. After a while it sometimes gains a certain familiarity, like the one that develops between commuters who take the same bus everyday. Sometimes I even think I treasure my private pains.
    Anyway nice to know that you have both taken a moment off your lives and thought kindly of me.



Thanks for giving me this moment of your life.