I walk across the familiar house, where I’d spent a major part of my childhood. Nostalgia, I now realise, is the best feeling in the world. I smile as always, on seeing the well where my mother used to bathe me when I was a toddler. Memories of the time when I used to run into the kitchen when the ladies were cooking, grab the first utensil I could, and throw it into the well before anyone could catch up with me, flood my mind now. It’s like a cinematographer is working inside my brain, as I picture the agraharam styled house back in its prime, when there was always something good cooking in the kitchen, the sight of a well maintained Tulsi plant in the inner courtyard, and the smell of incense from the pooja area.
My mind now jerks me back to the present, where just looking at the place, sans granny’s touch, gives me a feeling of gloom.
I ask myself, “Why did I come back this year?”Was there really any point? Who is here for me now? All kith and kin have shifted out of the homeland, and the only one who didn’t, was not in any land now.
I now sit cross legged on the straw mat in the middle of the living room, while the maid serves me coffee and breakfast, both lacking the rich flavour which only my grandmother’s hands could produce.
I reminisce all the preceding visits we made. The first few years were normal, when I was more than happy to be reunited with my childhood playmates, spending afternoons playing cricket in the neighbouring street, and they used to sit, awe eyed, listening with rapt attention as I told them stories about America, the land of dreams.
Then, one fine day, back at “home” in the U.S, my father brings the happy news to us that our family has been considered for American citizenship. Both my parents were overjoyed, while I was too young to realise all the implications of the news my old man had brought to us.