Turn Back Time

Back when I was in school, we used to have a slogan that we’d chant during our annual exams. I don’t remember the exact words but it goes somewhat like this:

“3 more days and where will we be? Out of the gates of SJC! Riding on a P.I.G., engine number 93. No more English no more French.. no more sitting on the ol’ school bench. If the teacher interferes turn around and box her ears!”

And before you ask, no, I have no idea what riding on a PIG even means. All I remember is that I’d shout it at the top of my voice as though my very existence depended on it.

For the past few days, bits and pieces of the slogan have been creeping into my head at the oddest times. For instance, I’d be talking to a client and instead of focussing on his response all I’d hear is “Riding on a P.I.G… Riding on a P.I.G…Riding on a P.I.G”, over and over again in a secret loop. I’d have to cough and grunt and make a huge production of it to hid my looney-happy grin.

Because. I. Am. Going. Home!

Home!

It’s been three very long years since I last went to India. I know people who’ve stayed away for longer, but I’m definitely not one of them. For the past year I’ve been painstakingly making a to-do list. Like any normal sane person, food is at the top of my list too. I think spending time with dad is at #5; sandwiched between #3 Green chilli chicken from Nandhini and #4 emotionally blackmailing cousins to help me stuff my face.

This reminds me so much of my boarding school days. Each day was a countdown to when I could go back home. Looking back, I think I both loved and hated hostel life.

The first time I went home for the holidays, I was both anxious and eager, waiting to slip back into my ‘old life’. Everything looked the same. Everyone behaved the same. But somehow it all felt different. Because something had changed. Me.

I don’t regret staying away though. It changed my spoiled brat ways and I found my independent streak streaked with a healthy dose of cynicism.

And so I am excited about this trip despite knowing that I am once again going to trespass into a place that was once both familiar and comforting. Excited because this visit is nothing but a break from reality to enter a world forever lost in time. A place where I can slip into a role that’s fragrant from the memories of the “good old days.”

Home.

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