Sometimes the view may not be much but brings with it a treasure trove of memories.
It was raining very, very heavily that day in Guwahati. As I looked out from my mom's balcony, a cloudy city greeted me. And it took me in a downwards sprial, into the memory lane.
Growing up in Shillong, Meghalaya, this was the weather almost throughout the year. Chilly, wet, inviting green, beautiful in every way. Then the lightning, almost like a guardian warding off evil. Almost like a dragon protecting this town nestled in the hills, keeping the bad out and the good in. A quaint little hill station, my home for 18 long years.
Today, lost in the hustle and bustle of city life, saying that I miss it would be the understatement of the century. But I'm still going to say it.
I miss Shillong terribly.
I miss the person I was there. Untainted by all that is wrong with the world. Innocent, trusting. Naïve, perhaps. But I do miss living there.
Sometimes I actually wonder how life would have been if I never left. Sometimes I wonder if moving out of there was any good for my soul. While looking for opportunities, comforts and connectivity, sometimes I wonder if pace and serenity were what I lost in the bargain.
While undoubtedly I have gained so much, there are some important things that I had to leave behind. Can't have it all, can I?
I love Bangalore. I do. No two ways about it and I also get very annoyed when anyone tells me I'm an outsider. It's a city in my country so it's as much mine as it is someone else's who has been born and brought up there. I just hate it when people stoop to that level. They lose my respect. But I digress.
Point is, today Bangalore is my present and future. It is my home. But I do miss and reminisce about Shillong. Often.
I think a part of me is still there, walking it's streets and basking in the winter sun. A part of me is still walking through the meandering paths leading to the cottage I grew up in and the corridors of my school, sneaking out, bunking classes in junior college. I can still close my eyes and take a whiff of Shillong. So real and almost within my reach. I can almost hold it, if I want to.
Maybe it happens to all, the place you grow up never really gets detached from you. An invisible pull remains. Should remain. What are we if not connected to our roots?
What is it that I miss?
The simplicity of life in Shillong. The small town feel where you know almost every other person. And they know you too. The pace of life which actually allows relationships to grow. Where neighbors actually know each other. The gift of time for having a life. The freedom of not having to squeeze life in weekends. These are things that I wish I still had. These are the things I remember fondly.
I think a part of me also wishes to be closer to my roots. But what can you do? I can either have a career or not have one, if the choice lies between a city and Shillong. Not something I like but that's the truth.
Growing up we always wished to fly out of the nest. It couldn't have been sooner. That's how much we wanted to explore the world and see places. Grow, basically. But now that we are here, living a life that we perhaps dreamt of, in a city of our choice, we want to go back again. Strange, isn't it?
What about you? Do you miss the small town life too? Does your heart not crave the peace and quiet?