November 20, 2016
She clicked away busily at her laptop. Wherever she went, that laptop would go with her. She had just gotten off of an important call and was exhausted.
‘This is for the notice of passengers of Flight 312B’
She looked up hopefully from her laptop. That was the flight she was supposed to take. If it was time to board, she could catch a few hours of sleep on the flight. Was this the final call?
‘The flight has been delayed by 3 hours. We regret the inconvenience.’
‘Some start to a vacation.’ She said darkly. She began clicking at the laptop again.
She was conscious of a deep desire to sleep and give her exhausted body some rest. But, she couldn’t risk nodding off now. From the time she had been a college student, she had been a sleep-lover. If she slept now, she wouldn’t wake up for a good few hours.
She closed her eyes lightly and thought of her college. She thought of her school, her old haunts, her house. It suddenly hit her that it had been more than a few years since she had been back.
She re-winded the past few years and fell into deep thought.
It had been easy for her to pack up her things and leave.
At the time of filling out applications and completing formalities, she was conscious of an excitement running through her veins. This was something she had been waiting for.
No part of her screamed in protest when all the procedures were completed and the time of departure finally arrived. Everyone around her was supportive and encouraging. She was unable to hear a faint ‘Don’t go!’ from deep inside of her amidst all the ‘Bon Voyage’s and ‘All the Best’s.
It had been a tough beginning, what with the new environment and people. She had to acclimatize and adapt fast. And that she had done with great ease. She missed her parents sorely, but this world around her was so exciting because she had built it around herself with her own hands. She would call her parents once a week and chat daily.
There was very little time for her to think about herself, or what she was missing. Her work came first. There was never any time for a vacation.
In so many years, this was the first time she was able to make a trip anywhere. In so many years, this was the first time she was making a trip home.
And now a light crease lined her forehead.
Home. The place where her parents lived. The place where she had roots. The place where she was always wanted, always loved. The place that had equipped her with her skills and her values. The place that housed the two people who looked out for her at all times.
The place that she left without a second glance!
‘How did I bring myself to do that?’ she thought anxiously.
For the first time, in years, she was thinking not of who she missed but what she missed. It was tearing her apart.
This was the place where she had made her first friends, where she had read her first book. This was the place she had played games and laughed the days away.
The life she had left behind seemed to come back to her and every happy memory stung her.
She shut the computer down and stowed it away in her bag. She could not bear to look at it anymore.
Home. She was going back! The reality of that statement hit her, and she couldn’t help but smile. She thought again of the house, the school, the college and most importantly, the people, and she could not suppress childish glee. She counted down every minute of the three hours eagerly and when the call to board came, she wasted no time getting in.
She would have to come back, she knew that. But nothing was comparable to how happy she was feeling right now.
A little boy sat next to her on the flight.
‘Where are you going?’ she asked.
‘We were on a vacation these past few days. I am going home now.’
‘So am I’ she said with a smile. ‘So am I.’
(Inspired by certain events in the lives of some people I know 🙂 )
Mysuru, Karnataka, India