This day last year I boarded the train to Bangalore from Kolkata. Hours before we were to board the train, as we waited in the busy sidewalk of Dharmatala SBSTC bus stand, a fateful phone call informed us of my maternal grandfather’s demise. Minutes before that phone call, my brother and I were struggling to use our first free Ola ride.
That phone call changed things. My mother became fatherless. The first step towards my professional life was forever marked by a black day in the family. The instant thought that came to my mind was this: “What next?” Would we cancel going to Bangalore and head to my maternal uncle’s place? For a few selfish seconds, I wished we did not have to cancel going to Bangalore (even though I dreaded every moment of the forward journey), not thinking what it meant for my mother. The tickets to Bangalore were booked for me, my mother and father. My brother was to see us off to Howrah station and leave.
My mother solved our dilemma. Being the clear-thinking woman that she is, she prioritized her daughter’s future over her dead father. I think aside from giving birth to me, that was the greatest gift she ever gave to me.
October 4th, 2015 ushered in a lot of changes in my life. The next 33 odd hours in the train would put a lot of distance between my home and the life there to what lay ahead.
Days before that fateful train journey, as I prepared for life in Bangalore, I thought to myself, “How many days before life again becomes normal?” Even though I was about to move to a different state, different town, different culture, I knew in the end the novelty of the shift would rub off and life would be the everyday life again, as I would get used to the newness of it all. Bengal or Bangalore does not really matter as long as you go to sleep in a comfortable bed with a full stomach.
Lately, I have wanted to tear myself away from the mundane sameness of everyday life here in Bangalore. But today, I want to appreciate the things I have achieved since October 4th, 2015. I am grateful that I am healthy, that I had a good dinner, that I have a brand new day to look forward to. I am glad for the people around me, my parents, especially my mother, who keeps calling me at every opportunity she gets – which really goes a long way in removing homesickness. I am grateful for the good walk through ITPL to reach my office. I am grateful for the busy-ness that life at Mu Sigma has given me. Today, as I climbed down from the tenth to eighth floor in the morning, I could not but marvel looking at the sheer rapidity with which people were moving from one floor to another, swiping their IDs, getting to their work desk, ready to solve problems. I am grateful I am alive to see such movement. As long as their is motion, there is life.
Today, I bought a pressure cooker off the money I had received courtesy the spot award in my previous project. Felt so good! This was the first kitchen purchase with my own money.
As I write this, I cannot but wonder, what will 4th October, 2017 show me? Will I be sitting in the same room as I am now, typing another blog post? Will I still have the people I love around me? Will I have been able to buy something really nice for my mother, my first true gift to her since I started working? As I dream of the things that I want to achieve, I can hear my mother saying not to let my dreams run loose – for they may never come true if I put them in words. As per her, there is probably someone who is listening on our dreams, ready to stop whatever we dream from happening the moment we dream it through. Having fed such thoughts since childhood, my heart hesitates.
Yet the mind wanders…