The Longing


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I was about 8 years old then and till date it is one of the best family photos. My dad is holding me up

When I was a kid, my father used to work in Kolhapur 8 hour train ride away. He used to come once every month and usually on a Friday as it was the day when he had off. Before my birthday, on 8th November we didn’t receive any phone call from him. I think I was worried as he would call everyday at a fixed time. My mom wasn’t worried and that should have given me the hint. Next day on my birthday my dad surprised me by coming home in the middle of the week. The memory is still blurry but I remember getting really happy and my dad’s belly laugh.

I am doing the same thing now.


My manager/company CEO Warren told me a month ago about the company Christmas break. Other than the 5 public holidays, the company doesn’t shell out a 3 week break like every other company. The first thing that came to my mind was I can go home now.

I acted on the impulse without thinking much and within two hours I had booked my flights. I rapidlyy fire messages to all my friends in India telling I am coming home. I was two seconds shy of posting it on Facebook as I realized that my parents would see it. My trip is a surprise for them, it is exactly as I have always pictured my first trip home would be.

I would ring the bell in the morning and my mom would gasp when I say hi. My dad would probably be eating his breakfast and ready for work. My brother would be too sleepy to bother but I know he would be really happy as well. My dog, Jimmy would be the one who is visibly the happiest.

I won’t be landing in the morning but I still expect a similar reaction. If anyone ever tells you a month is not long then introduce them to me.


More than a year ago, prior to me getting an admitted to AUT or getting a visa, I was having dinner with my dad and brother. We were talking about my future and how I was innocently saying that doing Masters’ would be easy or something like that. He was always reluctant with the idea and I always thought it was because of the money involved. He admitted his reason that night.

He said that he was worried that I will leave them and eventually forget about them. I blame Baghban movie for that kind of thinking. His statement was the equivalent of a sucker punch to my gut. Suffice to say that night was a very emotional night for us. My brother wasn’t much emotional though, he was laughing about it eventually.

I did my best over the last 15 months to not forget about them. His sentence would always be in my head.


“How long have you been here for?” a friend asked me.

“15 months”  I replied. I didn’t like rounding off the number or saying more than a year.

“That’s not very long”

“It feels longer”


I have never lived without my family. As a kid, my parents used to scare me that if I didn’t behave they would send me off to boarding school. I think every parent used that line to, sigh, get their children in line.

If I had I would have some experience with living with myself. I would have some taste of the freedom. I would have known how to cook better and how to deal with my finances better.

Today, I don’t have to answer to anyone about where I am going or when I will be back. I can come back at 6pm after work or I can come back at 2am after a party. I could eat whatever I want and I can even sleep hungry. I can keep a stack of clothes on my rooms’ chair instead of hanging them on hooks.

This freedom brings along with itself loneliness. Regardless of when I come home, my room will be quiet. There will not be my angry sulking dad or my chattering mom. There is no dog wagging his tail at the door for me.

I am by no means saying one life is better than the other. Neither am I saying I wanna go back forever. I could enjoy my life as much as I want here and at the same time miss the life that I had back in India.

I can be happy with my life in Auckland and still long for my life back.

For the next three weeks I intend to enjoy my home, my mom’s cooked food. I intend to enjoy meeting old friends and share a laugh or two. I missed them all.

Holidays!!


They are a benedictions and yet most often a malediction. And expectation come hand in hand with them.

If you have read my previous posts you will know that I absolutely abhor expectations. In fact I’m irreversibly marred by them. The tyranny of expectations breathe down the neck when holidays are descried in the horizon and I know, I have a gut feeling that they will end in tears and heartbreak.

It is like one is not complete without the other. And if I may, it is like they are fraught with sadness. Like expecting a heavenly time and getting, kind of hell. It seems a bad conclusion of Newton’s second law of motion.

Holidays for me are simple: watch movies, read books and eat and sleep. I don’t want to shop, roam pointlessly, just relax. After all I deserve it, working and traveling so much is grudging and I need some time off.

But a upcoming family holiday changes the dynamics. Everyone has expectations and abashed as I am to admit it, no one wants their perceived version of holidays to shatter. Father wants to do something, Mother wants to do something else. Brother, for the matter, just swings with the flow and is ready for every plan.

Unfortunately, not a single one of their plans is compatible with the other. And all of their ideas are resolute without any scope for compromise. Hence the tears and heartbreaks.

So my holidays are an anticlimax. With a heightened enthusiasm at the onset, disappointment comes at the end. And with each person the way to express this disappointment differs. And at the end no one is happy and praying that no such holiday comes again.

Such a scene in a few days of reprieve has been repeated so many times that even if I try, I cannot possibly come up with something new to say or do to lighten the mood. I don’t like the dolorous ambience at home but what can I do?

So when at times of Diwali(Reason for holidays, most auspicious festival in Hindus) when everything is expected to be beatific, nothing really is.

But the holidays this time had a special moment too. See on the first day of the three day family holiday, we all had breakfast. Now we never do that.

With my college, my brother’s and parent’s job schedules we never have viands at the same time. Never.

This time we did. Only once in the three days but we did. And we laughed and talked. All of us sitting in that table together and eating and sharing stories. No sadness, no tension. And to make things better even my dog came along to eat. Yeah, he completed the family picture at that time.

If we all weren’t so disheveled and somnolent I would have clicked a picture. I can’t even believe that the best time was then, when no one was wearing newly brought clothes, no expensive food or sweets. Just tea and some breakfast. And it was perfect.

I later said that after how much time did we all eat together, that now my Diwali is now complete. I probably jinxed the mood.

I hope that in a couple of days or months when I look back I only remember that morning and not the subsequent days. Because that morning was special. What followed was like a over repeated commercial that you are fed up with.

Thanks For Reading
Itsmayurremember