I was returning to my hometown from a small city in India. It was only a three day trip; with no highlights. The only time I encountered satiated joy was when I glugged down a glass of lassi, a delicacy in the Northern region. It lasted only a few minutes- the joy I mean.
A sixteen hour train journey back. Cobalt blue seats carried the thoughts of the past travelers with the impression of their weight. Floors grey with sweeping marks; repeated attempts to erase the footsteps. Stark white lights on the ceiling making sure faces are pale and the air stagnant, even though the fan buzzed monotonously. I settled into my seat and was lulled to sleep by the humming of the train.
The morning felt reassuring, home was closer and familiarity hugged me tight. Stepping out onto the platform, the convivial bustle tickled me into a victorious smile. I hailed a taxi as I walked out, unable to simmer down my evident excitement. As we drove along the city in its morning ritual state, I watched intently.
No one honking, the drivers still waking from their slumberous state. Trousers rolled up, a car washer splashed a bucket of water on a dusty car. A teenager sheepishly padded across the road as she listened to the words of her admirer over the phone. Her eyes darting to see that no one heard the inaudible exchange. A father redid the other loosely tied pigtail, as the little girl chewed on the lifted corner of her frock. A whiff of fresh bread teased my rumbling tummy. A man waited at the bus stop, glancing at his wrist watch rather frequently. An old woman crouched on the pavement, sipping on her hot chai as she people watched. A hawker frying his first batch of bhajias and pakodas. A delivery boy racing with time, to drop off the daily news at doorsteps.
I left this murmur of a commotion behind me as I started onto the flyover. The sun played hide and seek with the clouds as the warm yellow-orange fell on my face. I closed my eyes, I was home, so content.