Yes, that about sums up my experience these last few days. I had my little sister Pinkerton and her friend A over to Mumbai for about ten days, and then I went back to Shillong for about five days for my cousin's wedding. Family matters were high on the priority list, but mostly I was just soaking up the pleasure of having familiar faces around me. One thought kept nagging me the entire time - am I on the wrong track? Sure, living on one's own and earning a living sounds like the right thing to do, but what do I have at the end of the day? When was the last time that I lived in a house that was truly home? It's humbling to see that inspite of all the years away and all the monumental changes that have taken place over the years, at home I'll still be given a cup of tea and breakfast before I'm done brushing my teeth and my clothes will wash themselves before I even realize it. The endurance of these bonds, of family, community and familiarity seems more powerful when you see it after ages of living on your own.
What is it about home and nomads? It is a certain kind of wistful magic that weaves itself into my being every time I go back. I want to stay back forever, even though I know it's impossible, or maybe because of this knowledge. I keep telling myself the usual things about how I'll never get a well-paying job or be able to buy a house, about how I'll soon be climbing the walls with boredom. But then the mean, contrary part of my brain starts telling me to think about how the weather is always glorious at home, how I'll get to eat all the exotic things that aren't available anywhere else, about how transport is ridiculously cheap and comfortable etc. Then I have to make the mistake of looking at the sky which is gloriously, unbelievably blue, at the clothes flapping on the clothesline, at the small roads winding down the hills and the houses with their homey tin roofs, and I'm lost. It seems a fitting punishment for me to be a homesick nomad, the punishment for my biggest weakness - dissatisfaction.
The worst thing about these trips is the sick feeling I get in my tummy when I'm about to leave. It makes me wonder whether I'll ever see these things again. Why must people be human? There's a reason why cows are generally less stressed out. My plan is to become more bovine with everyday, with eyes that are glazed with contentment and a brain fossilizing so quickly that it has no room for thought. That's my mantra from now on - happiness lies in the ability to be a cow.