The first bus starting for Cochin from Bangalore would reach Alwaye around 4 am. Today it reached unusually earlier. The 15 minute walk that it takes to reach home meant planning for the day at home. I am visiting parents more often now, than before. From once in a month, to the current third consecutive weekend at home. Reasons vary. Basically, like everyone does, I feel safe back home. Away from the fears of fake assurances, lying words and dying relationships. As usual there were no concrete ideas on how to spend the day at home.
The morning chat ranged from minute news from here and there handpicked by mom to coverage on the week that went by at Bangalore to dad’s bright expression with a lighter shade. As I pulled the news paper from the table, little did I notice my mobile kept on top of it. My mobile fell down thrashing on to the floor, leaving its various parts scattered all around. A quick re-assembly didn’t work. After a few trials the mobile was finally switched on. But something was lost. The SIM card was damaged and the SIM would no longer connect me to the network. I noticed all the numbers in the contacts had vanished. I tried to restore the backup from the memory card, but memory card was not detecting either. I severely cursed the moment. I tried to maintain cool, while still desperately trying to find a way out of the mishap. Damaging the SIM and the Memory card meant losing the numbers of each and every person who has come and gone from my life both personally and officially since the time I have come to start using a mobile. Except for a few numbers which I remember, the rest of almost 2000 were to go away from me. I felt as if I was getting socially detached. The loss seemed grave as it sunk into me that even a duplicate SIM cannot be activated in Kerala since my connection is from Bangalore. Two days of total social desertion. Somewhere, I was starting to feel better.
I suddenly felt like going back a few many years to a time, before the birth of social networking and mobile linking. Those days, family meant everything. Sister, mom and dad were the only people to be around with. The days where dad paid for everything, mom selected everything and travelling obediently to wherever they took. So the day’s plan finally came clear in me. Sometimes it’s revealing and more than refreshing to travel back in time to a self whom I have come to cherish and mesmerize often. The most innocent, obedient yet naughty times. That’s when you were at your best, and that’s the time you will go further in life and remember the most.
I preferred not to drive. The driver had to chip in. Mom took me out to a shopping mall, bought lots of dresses for all of us and stuffs for home. I wandered in the mall with her like a child. I chose not to search for familiar faces. I stuck to her. We did some window shopping and selected stuffs to be bought later. By then it was getting to noon. We went to dad’s office and picked him. Dad doesn’t usually like to dine out, but he suggested to eat out. I eat out every day at Bangalore, not by choice though and for me to eat out would have meant missing home food. But today I felt unusually enthusiastic on having lunch from a hotel. We discussed quite a lot on where to go and finally decided on a common favorite hotel. Lunch seemed like one of the best. Back home after a sumptuous meal, the various purchases of the day were on display. Sister joined on phone and quite evidently seemed missing out in the scene. An afternoon nap for dad and a few household works for mom. That’s when I finally came down to realize how beautiful the day was.
I sat on my swing in the balcony facing the street, and started to call those few people whose number I remember. Remembering someone’s number never necessarily meant they have a fancy number. It just meant how close I consider them to me. Those people who I have to be in touch even if I were to just vanish today, away from all my belongings, all the relationships, all the bonding. Away in a place where it’s just me and only me, still keeping in touch with them would mean a necessity in life. I dialed the first number. I understand the person never knew what I was feeling today and the circumstances. I was probably again trying to assure myself on the closeness towards them. The person I hope recognized my sound. Spoke for a little, but then seemed like in search for topics. Some usual questions, answers and there was nothing more. All I could do was to give an abrupt end to the call. Life has come a long way in a short time. Not long back was it when I had borrowed a travel agent’s landline to speak to this person for hours before boarding a bus. Even at those times, I don’t remember having a topic. In fact any conversation would lead to a topic. Today a conversation with the same person could not go beyond a few minutes. I have to admit, I would have also played a big part which lead to thus. The second person too did not seem much interested in a long conversation. My calls stopped there. The list was not longer either. I came back to my room and slept.
Mom woke me up around 6 in the evening with a cup of coffee. I could hear dad in the background. I woke up and resting my head on her lap, said the best I could tell. “I love you mom and dad”