Long flights dredges up lost memories from an otherwise sunshiny life. They come from all the corners, steadily, like coyotes, biting away small bits, from my otherwise well preserved sanity.
From my childhood, comes echoes of laughter, and playing in the sand, and jumping off trees and beautiful looking Didi's and school teachers and sir Raj, smoking charms, endlessly. The laughter bounces off my brusque facade of professional chicanery, and chips away some paint on the go. Right from under the starched white shirt front, I bleed blue, as I remember myself and my sis, playing, alone, under the guava tree. We were young once, and our life was full of each other, forever.
From my youth, my grand uncle calls out, in a voice unheard for a decade. I see myself grinding arecanut for him to chew, in return of cardamom treated raw tobacco. I see us painting the front lawn red, together, three generations apart, chewing home grown betel. Some bit of that red betel haunts me again, sparkling red splatters in my otherwise clinical, lab life.
And then there is that wide expanse of tranquil greens, amidst which my grandma sleeps in peace.
It's a long flight. I wish for this journey to end. I look forward to being home again. It's a journey well begun. Some day, I got to be home again.