Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter 2010



Being home for Easter and Christmas was something we all looked forward to. These were times to be spent with the family, in prayer for midnight Mass, and around the dinner or lunch table. For over 10 years I have held a job in Delhi but have tried to be home in Goa for these occasions.

In the early days of my working life it was tough. I could not afford to be home, much as I wanted to. Getting sometimes only a few days holiday inclusive of the weekend Saturday- Sunday, it seemed suicidal to toss half a month's earnings on a flight fare.

But never did mum and dad say anything to deter me. It was my job and I needed to make a career out of it. I had to carve my life and someday stand alone. It was this bitter truth which sometmes sustained me - though not always - in my many years away from home.

So I used to trundle along on the 2780 Nizamuddin-Vasco Goa Express which took 3 calendar days to arrive. But sleeper class was all I could afford then. On the return journey, I sometimes wept as each revolution of the train's wheels took me further away from home to faraway Delhi.

In the tumult of these moments, many a poem was written in the womb of the train with my slippers as my pillow on a side upper berth.

Dad and mum were overjoyed to have me when I was home, and mum took position near the wide-open front door to welcome each one of us as we came home.

When mum's health deteriorated I used to fly-by-night on the New York-Delhi-Mumbai Air India jumbos which offered cheap fares at hideous times at night.  I used to time it such that I could take the connecting Jan Shatabdi to Margao from VT the next day at 0510. I knew it would not be for long.

Time has rolled by and I no longer cavil to spend that extra something to be with dad when I can. It is enough to see the bliss on his face that a son has come home.

This Easter I did a fly-by-night again to Goa  - if only to collapse those 2000 odd kms to be home. Again. Even if a voice we loved,  is now still.
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Picture: Dad reaches me to Dabolim airport, Goa for the flight back to Delhi on Easter Sunday, 4 April 2010.

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