There, day after day of bright sunshine and little change in temperature.
Here, weather changes thrice a day.
Parents are moving out of the home we grew up in, and into a flat in a ‘society’.
They didn’t want this change but have now accepted it and are looking forward to it.
I struggled to accept this change, specially the circumstances that forced it, but had slowly accepted it. Till now.
I just realised that given it’s a flat in a small town Indian ‘society’, there’s no chance of a pet dog being allowed in there. It breaks my heart.
I had a long pending plan/hope/desire of visiting them and staying with them for a couple of months. I can’t take Chewie there, but I’d plotted about adopting a young dog, training him during my stay in Karnal, and leaving him with them once they developed a bond.
But now that they live in a flat in a ‘society’, this can’t ever happen 🙁
It’s probably the rarest natural scent here in the UK. It’s always raining (pissing), rarely sunny for long enough to make the earth go dry, and very rare to have a period of sunshine immediately followed by a shower. Usually the weather changes are interspersed with days of dull blue-grey clouds and occasional pissing drizzle.
Today I woke up to that lovely, earthy smell. It’s been unseasonably warm and sunny last few days. It hasn’t rained in nearly a week. The spell was broken early morning with a short, sharp shower. The result is a sweet, lingering smell. The smell that reminds me of home. Petrichor.
It was an unplanned trip, to attend to a family matter. Most of it was very boring. The smog kept me indoors, so couldn’t go for long walks. I’m off TV, so no time to waste there either, and I have no friends left in Karnal to go visit.
Reading was my only escape. I read Anita & Me, and Sapiens, and re-read a bit of Thinking fast and slow. Also read 3 issues of The Economist. Separately, read a 100+ articles in Instapaper.
I even had time to update the AcceleReader for Instapaper Chrome extension with a new feature, despite working on a really slow internet connection.
The visit did end on an exciting note though. On the evening before the flight, I met up with my friends from undergrad for dinner.
I had no clue what to expect. These were the people with whom I spent most, if not all, of my first 3 years of college. And yet I hadn’t seen, or spoken, to most of them in last 5-7 years.
I’ve long believed that friendship is just a bunch of shared experiences. Friendships are kept alive by creating these experiences, or reliving them. What sort of friendship would it be when we haven’t even met or spoken for better part of a decade, and not created shared experiences for even longer?
I’ll just say, I’ll need to revisit (refine?) my understanding of friendship a bit. Continue reading In other news…
It’s been 3 days since I arrived in India. I’m yet to see the sky.
The cab driver called it fog. But the daytime temperatures are in high 20s, even saw 31°C yesterday. Yet this fog never clears.
I’m in my hometown. When I was growing up here, we used to lay on the roof at night, and try to recognise all the constellations.
In three days, I haven’t even seen a clear sun or moon.
Back home in Guildford, we still see the sky bright and clear – just the way it used to be here when I was growing up.
I miss that clear sky. That sharp, clear sunshine. And that bright and clear moon at which my boy barks.
Everyone knows this is smog. Everyone knows what’s causing it. (I think) everyone knows it’s quite bad for their health.
And yet, no one’s bothered about it. Not one bit.
21 years as a small town boy.
12 years in the biggest cities.
Now back settling into a small town, 1000s of miles from my first one.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, you send the heart racing down memory lane every time. How, I love you!
Tomorrow I’m heading to India. A 12 day trip, all of it planned to be spent in Karnal. No plans, yet, of travelling, meeting friends, or spending any nights away from home.
Feeling a bit weird. It’s been a while since I did this, since I spent time there.
In 6 years since we moved to the UK, I’ve made a total of 5 visits home – once when grand dad passed away, then one to see F&F, next after our wedding, then for my sister’s wedding, and last for R’s sister’s wedding.
It’s almost 5 years since I visited to meet family outside of an occasion.
It’s been way longer since I stayed in Karnal for anything over a week.1
The day began well, with me polishing off a few long-pending long posts in my Pocket. The walk got delayed, due to reasons coming below, but was a brisk, happy one when it came.
One of those rare days when I felt like listening to music on the walk. Not sure about what to play, just asked Google to play a random playlist of songs I like. It was fun!
Charlie (a young Vizsla), and Monty (a forever young Jack Russel) wrestling each other to get more attention from me, halfway through the walk, just added to the delight.
Rarely have I returned from a hot weather, brisk walk so energised. (The brisk bit, and the protein smoothie may have helped too)
The region of India I grew up in has a long, dry and hot summer. 2 decades of living there have trained my brain to expect (imagine) things when the weather turns warm and dry. Like today.
Thoughts of watermelon, cool water dips in tube wells & canals, hanging with friends from undergrad, cycling around with the only friend from my first school, smell of the earth.
Beautiful, torturous memories :)