I came back to my 1st home, Pune, after about 2.5 years. It felt different, yet familiar. The magic of belonging and not-belonging still holds true! There are so many new things in the city, that I felt quite lost and pleasantly so. This visit also saw some major changes happening, specially about my future visits and I am still upset about that!
One of the reasons for the visit was to make sure ze best friend gets married to her guy and doesn’t skip her own wedding! I ensured that by booking my tickets to India, insisting that she book our tickets to her home town and the wedding venue, and making sure to keep her in my sight during the last couple of days. We had fun last few days, shopping, eating Idlis and getting Mehendi done at my place on our last day in Pune. Going around on her scooty on her last day before traveling for her wedding, I felt really, really sad that this was going to be perhaps the last time we went about town. We both wondered when would we ever do this again, where we went out, bought a bunch of trinkets, had momos and went back home. Not having to worry about anything else. I feel terribly sad that I will have only the boys to hang out with whenever I come home next! Not that they are horrible people, but they are not my girls!
The wedding turned out to be quite fun. We had a mini hostel room reunion and it was great to catch up with the girls! I got to travel to the southernmost tip of India and checked off Kanyakumari from my bucketlist. The place is unique because it is a confluence point for three seas, the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. It was hot beyond reason, but we lived to tell the tale. Unfortunately, a tale of terrible behavior by tourists, lack of peace, and plastic trash everywhere. The Vivekananda Memorial was beautiful, and would have been amazingly peaceful, if the people would have been respectful. It was underwhelming, and disappointing. Luckily, the cab driver took us to another spot on the other edge of Kanyakumari, where there was no human in sight. Now, that was stunning! The water was so blue and clean, and the visibility was glorious so that we could see the nuclear plant of Kundankulam from the shore.
The rest of the trip is passing by in a daze of laziness, rains, humidity and gluttony. I have gotten drenched in rains in Pune more than I have seen rain in the last year in California. The monsoon has gained way too much speed right now, and my flights back to SD are causing a good amount of stress. The humidity has made my hair crazy but I am not complaining! The added task of filling buckets of soft water from kitchen tap to wash hair has been interesting, but apparently everyone does it here! The groundwater is hard and is terrible for skin and hair, and hence this exercise. Gluttony is at it’s peak per usual and I am on my see-food diet. I refuse to refuse food offered to me, and I have been downing everything as long as it is vegetarian. Bring on the street food, mom-made food, desserts, and my mint antacids like cherry on top. It has been glorious!
The biggest problem now is, how to deal with the gnawing pain of leaving home, again. I was hoping that I was used to this by now, but it still feels new just like back in 2009. All the euphoria of coming to motherland, to home, to family, is replaced by this weird nervousness of having to leave again during the last week. Anyone and everyone visiting HAS to say “Oh, she’s leaving this Saturday?! It’s almost here!” YES WE KNOW! I find it insanely annoying when they have to ask me about my next visit and if I would take as much time between visits like last time. I see my parents going about their daily life, and I wonder how they would continue after I leave. And I wonder how I would continue after I go back? This woe puts all the stupid dry hair, humidity, fatty food issues to shame.
Anyhoo, for now, this is all the fun stuff that I have to share. I am constantly monitoring the flood situation in Mumbai for my trip to the airport, and palpitating a bit. Hopefully, this stress will be for nothing, and I would be catching my flight without too much hassle. Here’s to wishing and hoping for the best!
See y’all on the other side of the globe!