To start with, I got a confirmed reservation only in a train destined to Patna! I have always had this fear of missing my train; so, to be on the safe side, I leave quite early for the station...only to reach a couple of hours before departure! And my friends who are frequent takers of train journeys will well understand my plight! The platforms were more crowded that usual and everyone seemed to be joining me to Allahabad! Huh, no wonder! With the holy bath season on, so many sins to be washed off! I checked my ticket for my coach no. It said R2. I asked around where does this coach usually be, only to be told that there is no such coach! I checked the charts...wait, my vision is alright! Aah it was a printing error - it was B2! Nevertheless, it was a sleepless night with the compartment filled with a variety of snoring sounds and a fear in me - what if I keep sleeping and cross Allahabad!
There's a certain nip in the air of your hometown that seems welcoming and yeah...brings in nostalgia too :( One of the many things I miss in Delhi are piping hot jalebis and garam-garam samosas and there's this halwai I head to directly from the station. But alas! They had only rolled open the shutters and were sweeping the floor when I arrived so I had to move on...empty-handed :(((
My home-coming was similar to every other in the past. Oh yes, the lehanga and the black hood wala Tshirt were huge hits! My Dadaji was also content with the bright-colored shirt I got for him (last time he told me that he feels an increase in his blood flow whenever he wears the white and orange striped shirt I got him earlier :).
The day was crazy with my sister hell-bent on going to Big Bazaar for the major sale and of course, taking me along to pay the bills :(. It's strange, but so true...you end up buying all that you don't really need and that's only because they are on sale...and you are like....you will use those some day (?). Cutlery, utensils, dinner set, trays, VCDs, a set of bed sheet and ..... a microwave were all that she made me buy her! Quite less??? Well, you really hate those instant SMS that your bank sends you every time your card is swapped...and they pinch and hurt too :( But that smile on her face was priceless :D
Sunday started with hurries and worries. Shivani was still thinking of what to wear for the function, throwing every possible option towards me and then retreating saying that it will make her look like my Mom. Well, I could only agree with her so I busied myself with checking emails. You know how are those sisters' fights, na? Neither wins, but moods are ruined...so I play the Didi - assuring her that whatever she wears will look just great! And you think she believes me? Not really! I picked a saree and told her it will look just perfect and she was like - Yeah...you want people complimenting you, right! That saree was the final pick at the end though (I knew it will be!!! :D). I forgot to mention....I caught a cold too the previous evening...imagine...it's my hometown weather that doesn't suit me now!
Reached the venue and there was Dad, as usual... running around - instructing, ordering, shouting.... That's a custom before every function, and at times, we fear, he might just start pulling at his hair! (No offences to you, Papa). We two sisters were only concerned about our Sarees, jewellery, make up...God... there are so many things we women have to take care of !!! And then, guests started arriving and we were right there brimming over with happiness (don't ask why? After all, that's how you welcome people!) with the customary greetings - Namaste Uncle/Aunty...ji, main theek huin...haanji, Dilli mein job kar rahi huin....and so on (repeated n no. of times). With the gathering increasing, discussions started and the hottest topic??? No points for guessing! Of course, my marriage! It's undoubtedly a subject of national debate! Still single...working...staying in another city? Beta, koi pasand nahi aaya? Well, of course aaya....Shahid Kapur....not bad, eh? The icing on the cake was provided by my school friend (married for 7 long years) who made an entry with her two daughters. 'Neha beta, dekho, kuch seekho isse!' (Mummaaaaa!!! :(((( )
Post party, I was all down with cold and fever. I met a friend soon after and we had some good Cold coffee with salad (now, you really don't want to miss out on the best things in life just because you are unwell...not me surely!). And yes, this sickness also could not deter me from gorging on some (okie....quite a few!) golguppas followed by steaming-hot-melt-in-the-mouth gulab jamuns the next day. Talk about heavens on earth! I was surely there :)
And that was it! A full week of preparation....confirming tickets...loads of shopping...all over in no matter of time :(
And that one hour before boarding the train is the time I feel most homesick! Bidding Goodbye is the most difficult thing to do, especially to my Dadaji. I am almost crying with that lump in my throat...and trust me, he just has to say it once - 'Don't go!' I will just leave my bag and baggage and park right there. No, I am serious. At times, that's exactly what's on my mind. But they never say that :((
For my Doctor cum friend - Don't get angry over the golguppa thingie...I did also take the medicines prescribed by you and regularly too...in fact, I still am! Pucca promise:)
For my sister - in case you read this, I am serious when I say you look great in everything you wear...and yeah...that's because you are my little sister :)