Skip to main content

The fizzy and the still

Leaving Birmingham for good was harder than I expected. The city did not offer much apart from the University, visits to Walmart and the Indian food store. Life in the apartment with my roommates was not extraordinary. And yet, I had a hard time fighting back tears as I made my way to the airport.

2008 was a year of travel for me. I was in India in January, the U.S in February, Cambodia in May, India in October and the U.S in December. I've sat waiting for flights at a mind-numbing list of airports in that time; Bombay, Zurich, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix, Houston, Cincinnati, Raleigh, New York and Birmingham. Simply reading back on what I've typed just now makes me tired thinking about all that flying and transit time. It's not glamorous in the least, let me assure you.

Stating the obvious here, I like routine. It takes time and a lot of emotional investment to settle somewhere, make friends, get some sort of purpose and order to existence... have some reason to get up in the morning, let's say. And of course, having said this, I have no answer to why I've moved around so much. While each place I've stayed in brought it's share of stress, it took me the length of that ride from my house to the airport yesterday to realize that this is the palette of life - annoying people that I cannot help but like, infuriating experiences that have taught me to take things as they come, solitary times bringing insights that were just waiting for me to think and listen.

In many respects, the guy who arrived in Birmingham at 6:30pm on 19th August 2006 is not the same person who left the city at 9:05 am on 24th December 2008. It is no small measure of comfort to admit that he left Birmingham, a better person. To admit that it was coming to Birmingham, living, fighting and laughing with people, that is the catalyst for change.

I'm not quite sure what is in store for me now. I have stepped out of one room, one life and opened the door to another, no longer at the threshold.

Growing up, thankfully, is ignorant of birthdays.

Song for the moment: Beyond the Horizon - Bob Dylan


Comments

bhumika said…
"I like routine."

From school to college to jobs. We keep looking for something better, keep going a step higher only to find comfort in yet another circle of routine.

Holds true for most of us. Only we do not dare to confess.
Anonymous said…
speechless! (in a good sense)
At last the words that were lingering around in my mind for the past 8 years were put together so " " !
Good luck Girish!
girish said…
thank ye, kind stranger.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …