A couple of my friends who diligently follow this blog, (usually out of boredom and mostly out of the pressure of being tagged on Facebook every time I update it), might have noticed that my last few posts have been overwhelmingly nostalgic to the point that it gives them a headache.
I wouldn’t deny that I have been doing a bit of soul-searching over the last few months, and willingly and out of no compulsion, jumping from the frying pan into the fire to find out how everything could have been so right in my life, and how for a change, I could do some personal damage by getting it all wrong.
No, I am not talking about my professional decisions here; though I must admit that I am already exhausted of answers when people ask me: “Why Muscat?” or “Didn’t you have an awesome job in Mumbai…again, why Muscat?” or the same question, put differently, “Oh! You definitely needed a change. But, tell me, why exactly Muscat, why not hmm say a holiday in Greece…it could help you recharge.”
Thank you friend! For the record, air-travel to Greece and my subsequent stay, that you so benevolently suggested, would probably cost me all of the pitiful savings that I accrued from my last job. You could, however, exceed your benevolence of words in kind, by funding such a trip of mine and I assure you, I would definitely pay heed and oblige to any such wild suggestions in the near future.
I had my reasons for this sabbatical and while on the outside it might not appear Greece-like fancy, this city is equally beautiful and appeals to my voyeuristic sensibilities. It is also second home; and I definitely know more people here, than I would in Greece. And did I forget to mention that I have help in the form of my rockstar dad.
But here again, like I feared, am reeling under a strange nostalgia and can sense the growing emptiness deepen with every passing day. Didn’t I just tell you how for long, I had been trying to get it all wrong. Now, when I say wrong…it is more to do with weaning myself from my mother and the lovely city of Mumbai, with the balance tilted more towards the former. And over the last five days of my stay in Muscat, I have finally come to realise how so-very irreplaceable my mom is.
When I make myself a mug of coffee every morning, I am reminded of my last day in Mumbai (for this year) when I complained about the extra sugar mom had added, not realising that for a while, I will be making my own coffee. Interestingly, when I made my own coffee on the day I was heading for my new job here, it was so heavily drugged with sugar that it gave me a headache. Now, I just let the sugar be, cause it reminds me of her. May be, just may be, distance makes sugar-sprinkled coffee seem tastier.
Not to mention, even as I was write this post, she sent me a voice message on Whatsapp giving me some tips on how to conquer this motion sickness (read: not loose motions) that my mind has suddenly taken fancy to (Mothers will always be mothers; they sense it when you miss them). Thanks to Whatsapp, she has also found this incredible way of sending me letters (since she belongs to a generation that hates typing): She writes these amazingly motivational long letters, and then gets my brother to capture them on his cellphone camera and Whatsapp them to me. My phone now boasts of a tome of hand-written letters. Talk about living in an age where one otherwise thought that letters had ceased to exist.
I am also reminded of her every time I cook something awful. In fact, just yesterday I made ussal that seemed to be pulses boiled in spiced broth. At least now, I won’t ever criticise mom for making boring food (a rarity), because mine have definitely raised the bar on how bad it could possibly get?
Meanwhile, my darling dad is helping me cope with my mopey and remorseful situation, but I wonder for how long. Every time I break into tears, I see him freeze, and soon after, so do my tears. I won’t cry, I promise myself, but man life is really difficult without mommy dearest. It was solely my decision to put myself to test, but now and then, I see myself failing. The only assurance is her voice, promising that she will be here soon, even if just for a while.