For old times' sake

Saturday, August 1, 2009

‘And this time, it's going to be brilliant’, were my thoughts when I disembarked from the train and was mighty chuffed to find everything so ‘in-sync’(for want of a better expression) – that car, that front seat, that stereo playing the same old CD, passing that Green-and-Yellow gate on GT road, that Kolkata Knight Riders’ Billboard(:o), etc.

And yet there was this voice at the back of my head which said, ‘Stop it – this rummy feeling isn’t going to last for long. Before you know it, it’s gonna be gone’. Understandably, I scoffed at even the slightest thought of the hols ending. Three months is a long, long time yaar. Now I have to go and vote as well, first thing in the morning. Will it be the Reds or will it be a Trinamool whitewash (err, greenwash)? Why am I thinking of all that bilge? And so I filed away that unsavoury thought somewhere far, where it wouldn’t be able to needle me.

It’s surprising how easily one can get back into that old way of doing things. It’s no point living in the past – I know someone who’d sneer and say these exact words. Well, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to live in the past. The past lives on… in you. And you don’t take a couple of days to ‘acclimatise’ to the change. You know how to deal with it. I trudge into the dining hall first thing in the morning, which has the TV no. 2 tuned to Times Now/NDTV 24x7/BBC World and that familiar genial man sitting in front of it, sipping his morning tea, and then downing whatever he can find in the fridge or in the loft. The lady in the kitchen reacts testily –‘Your cholesterol levels are going to get you!’, to which all he offers is a sheepish grin. A 13 year-old bloke emerges from the bathroom in a towel and yells – he’s getting late for school.

And I’m back there. In the afternoon at 2, I go to school to pick the brother up. Familiar faces smile and wave – the juniors, the teachers, the guards at the gate (Traffic duty, boss :D) and the usual question ‘Kemon aachish/Kemon aacho/How are you?’.

In the evening, I make a couple of phone calls, zip down to Polo Ground/Apcar Gardens/Burnpur Club/somebody’s house(whichever is convenient) and kickstart those adda sessions which seem neverending, until there’s a missed call from mum at, say, 10:30 pm at the earliest.

I come back home, shove dinner down my throat and then flounce off into the study. I switch on the PC, resume the inactive torrents and transfer the completed ones onto my laptop for viewing later on. Then I watch some TV, after which I switch on the AC in the bedroom and read whatever it is I’m reading at that point in time.

And then drift off to sleep until next morning, for which I can’t wait. That’s because I’m going to take out my two-wheeler at 5 am and go someplace with my bros. Or do something our group feels like doing, like having a gang over at our place to watch some movies or duel it out in Gran Turismo on the Playstation or indulge in the usual guy-talk (cars/sports/films/THAT girl).

These are my life’s little pleasures.

It’s been rightly said (here I go again, cockface) that people seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren't so crazy about the first time around. How effing true is that!

That’s why I’m typing this out, while sipping Diet Coke, biting into the last pieces of that chocolate cake Mama made, and listening to ‘City of Blinding Lights’, which I feel is weirdly suited to the tone of the sentimental hogwash that you’re reading right now.