The taxi crawls, the croaking radio blasts an 80’s song . The driver is whinging about the rotten traffic. Bikes and rickshaws snake past. Chaos all around.
I am home.
I sit and listen to the muted noise of hawkers and horns. I am back, after a decade, to a town which has remained the same. I am the one who has aged, who has been burdened by experiences and life.
This town is still the same.
Comfortable in its chaos. Young in its naivety.
The taxi clumsily moves ahead and I move back in time. To Wintry evenings, pillion-riding on my dad’s scooter to the sweet shop to buy samosas. To sweaty summer nights of tracing constellations with fingers on the rooftop, when load shedding threw the town into a darkness dotted with a glow of only stars. To the fragrant springs when the daffodils in my mother’s garden danced a glorious dance, giving me a complex.
And to that autumn when I packed a bag full of clothes and a heart full of big dreams and set off. To discover the world. To live the life I was missing.
Now, a decade later, I am back. The bank accounts are loaded, the bag of clothes still full, the heart empty.
As the taxi enters a narrow lane and I glimpse that rickety chair in the verandah, and the swing creaking on its own, my heart fills. And as the taxi rolls into the driveway, I see them.
There they are, holding hands, grey haired, warm smiles. Their tears glistening in the afternoon sun.
I had been a fool. I had not been missing anything when I had left ten years back. It had all been there in this place. Everything I had needed.
But now, I am back.
This spring, the daffodils are the ones who will get a complex.