I'd been a regular to my homeland, in all these years of being an immigrant US citizen, and every time I go back, my home here ceases to exist. I go back to my childhood home, and in a strange way, I relive my young/teen years again. I marvel at the cluster of coconut palms that guard the roads, the song like accent of my native land, the enormously peaceful river Godavari and the three bridges that connect my home town with the other side of the river. It suddenly strikes me - the beauty I grew up with for a good couple of decades, which never really stuck me the way it does right now. I look at the land overlooking the river and the three bridges and suddenly have this urge to own a vacation home there - for the view beats the Golden Gate view in the sought after neighborhood of Fransisco - May be it really does, in its own right!
As my car passes the school I attended, the picture folds and unfolds a lanky, awkward teenager in long braids and bright acne. I relive the days in a flash and something inside my soul stirs. As I look out of the window of my car, I see numerous pictures flashing before me, a couple of dogs sitting high on a bale of hay, crows landing on buffaloes, bright smiles of kids from the slums with matted hair and soiled clothes - but the smiles obliterate all the dullness of their existence. Vegetable vendors that hawk their goods in high pitched voices and house wives that flock around them bargaining, handpicking the veggies that satisfy their pallettes. Loud hymns from the nearby temples that amalgam with traffic noises, trying to drown them in the sounds of stupid devotion. In all this bedlam, the peace of being in a small town prevails. The breeze from the river makes it mark with the humidity. My skin renounces moisturizer and embraces an unmistakable glow making people wonder if I'd had an expensive facial, my hair bounces with vitality, just from getting rinsed in the elixir of the river water and my whole being responds to the land of my birth- my destiny!
As the renowned poet urged - Ye Desamegina, yendu kaalindina, Ye Peethamekkina, Yevvreduraina...pogadaraa nee talli bhoomi Bharati ni! - It only comes naturally here, without wanting to do it for the sake of doing it~!