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.

Cypress Thank You


I’m confused about what kind of post this is. But this is definitely not a directional/instructional trek post. (I got lost a couple of times myself)

I have had enough. I needed to prove something. To whom I didn’t have the courage to ask. But yeah I had to make a point. And to do that I climbed a mountain. Or hill actually.

And so I went, alone, to a nearby hilly area in Mulund, Mumbai. Cypress its called famous among college students as a making out rendezvous (couples there should at least clean up after they are done. I saw enough packets) So with almost no guide other than mighty internet and no known route I began my climb with water and Parle G!(they are a life saver) a huge umbrella because it was raining when I left home, which I later strapped to my back along with my bag as a two handed sword.

Now I should explain how I went up and the route I took, but unfortunately I don’t have any pictures for the said route. Cause it required me to kneel use my hands for support in climbing. And I’m a little confused too.

I’m a novice in trekking and hiking. I have been trekking in Pune area and they have always been amazing. I am better than most of my friends and I can say this because of the 7 to 8 treks I have done, I never slipped. My breath gets labored but that’s okay.

So I knew the way to the top would be upslope. So I saw a path and I took it, a dried out waterfall is a sure shot way to reach the top. Alas, I’m severely out of practice. The route which would have been done in 30 minutes took me an hour, me all the while sweating and puffing and more than once scratched from the scrubs. (I should have worn full tracks) “Almost there almost there” was the only thing I kept telling myself. And I couldn’t go back the route that I came. I wanted a different route. With the absence of rains and the occasional sunshine today was really hot. Winds did what they could but it didn’t help much. I was tired when I reached the hill top, I planned on screaming “I did it” but I was too tired to do so. So sat on a stone, caught my breath and tried to pacify my heart which I was afraid would give in.

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The Top of the Hill, there’s my bag near the stone where I sat

I ate the Parle G biscuits. Yes, they are a life saver. The tiredness quickly washed away, crunching sound somehow amplified and reaching my ears. I kept looking around. And the views were spectacular. The hills stretched from left to right, a lake mostly Vihar right in the middle of them, enclosed like a water held in palms. Another lake was partially visible behind the trees. The city Mulund was behind me, obscured by the tree growth.

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The Panorama From Top

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Mulund

Just being on hilltop gives a great feeling. ‘I did it’ is an understatement, the accomplishment gifted by the heavenly view all around you. The artistry of Creator. To add my awe of the nature, I noticed the butterflies.

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The First Click

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The Second Click

Small, multivariate and fickle. Fickle because they couldn’t decide which way they want to fly. My eyes traced their random flight unblinking to not miss them. Green orange and white. And they deserved to be clicked. Because it was a while since I have seen any butterflies in my area. Even though there’s no lack of vegetation I hardly ever see butterflies. Funny I never noticed that till now.

Highly sensitive to movements around, my efforts to have a great photo of them were mostly in vain. Some serious control of my limbs and patience and I was able to click some trivial pictures. If you are in any way as impatient as I am, trying clicking their photos. Slowly, steadily. It is difficult.

Coming down was rather hilarious. Being alone makes you wanna start a monologue with yourself, asking which way and let’s go. And i did the monologue loudly because I knew there would be no one to overhear. Same idea here too, just pick the path which is downslope. And I’m sure I got lost. But I didn’t care much, because I saw the city in front of me so I knew I’ll figure a way out. Not a very good tip if you are trekking in a place totally aloof.

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Somewhere downstream

Like I said a new route I took, telling myself I’ll see where it goes. Luckily it was downslope and I was in right direction. My ankles and calves in pain, not because the climb was arduous but because I was out of practice and weak. I went slowly, and the sound of waterfalls greeted me in a while. A small waterfall, merely a tickle, was exhilarating nonetheless. Cold but not too cold. I washed my face and legs, drank some water too. Careless to drink but it was flowing water(and I need to go to a doctor for a checkup I know)

And here is the funny part: while climbing there was a signal tower at the start. And that is what I was looking for while coming down, though the trees severely limited my line of sight. Almost to the hill base I saw people heading up a different direction from where I came from. I traced their paths and reached the gate from where I started, near the temple, completely bypassing the signal tower(there is always a temple either at the peak or at the base) Again, this would be a whole lot less hilarious if I was trekking in a remote area.

I had fun. The tiring journey giving me nothing but satisfaction and much needed change of scene. With a huge smirk on my face, I came home tired, hurt and thirsty.

With a nagging question, why were other people going in a different direction. Did I climb the wrong hill?