Today’s been a difficult day. My parents, who have been staying with me for the past two-and-a-half months, left for home. And once again, I realised the exact nature of my tied-to-the-mother’s-apron-strings status.
I started preparing for this ever since the flight tickets got done. I would look at my mother on the sly, telling myself to memorise the lines before the moment passed. Of course I have been packing their things too. My productivity (at home) reached its peak as I bustled about — making lists, shopping for last-minute supplies, cooking, and generally bullying my parents into watching less TV and spending more time with me. Of course, I designed all that activity to evade the growing emptiness coiling inside me. And, as always, the oldies played along.
However, this exercise in evasion had to end. I dilly-dallied in the airport for as long as possible, and then, reluctantly, came back to my place. Hardly a home, without my parents around; which is one of the strangest things in my psyche. The place I like to call home is one where my parents stay — although I doubt if I have spent even 6 months of my life in there in the past 5 years. Yet I like to believe that that is where I belong.
Weird, I know. However, it’s probably more than that. I have spent nearly eighteen years of my life in and around the place where my parents stay at present. But that was a long time ago. I have been constantly travelling to and from home ever since I left for college in 2002. Those were painful days. I was a small-town girl and behaved (understandably) like a fresh-faced idiot in a bustling metro. Err… people who know Calcutta may not exactly agree with that epithet; but that doesn’t dilute the fact that my college was peopled with self-proclaimed intellectuals with a methodical madness for French new wave cinema and free sex. I was “coy” by those standards, as one of my professors had put it. Anyway, the weird part is that I used to ache for home back then, and still do, although the idiot’s got her face scrubbed and worn and made up several times before the idea of a blog hit her.
Add to that the natural propensity for sentimentalism and metaphysics. Being a Bong has its share of disadvantages. And if you happen to know the college I owe my literary predispositions to (No, you can’t ask! :D) you would understand why I have been driving myself silly with passages from some of my favourite poems. It was only when I mentally zoomed in on Baudelaire that I realised that I had probably stretched it too far. “Presences“, I was telling myself, and trying to regurgitate a few lines, “Images, colours, and something else correspond”… Tut. “It’s probably Correspondences“, I corrected myself, and tried not to picture poor Baudelaire turning in his grave.
Despite that, and the dogs, and the irksome visit of the landlord at the beginning of every month, what I have at the top of my mind is the spectre of a large and emptied house. The things strewn about from packing stuff give off that sweet, painful aura of something just ended — Dying, but not quite dead.
I’m not disconsolate. Not after the years and years of living life out of a suitcase. I’m only just perplexed at the continuum — that a breach so practised could still evoke such high emotions. Of course I’m smiling as I write this, but honestly, who wouldn’t want to curl up one last time with mum and sleep like never before?