So, finally I am back to the serene, scenic, sublime land of Odisha-my state. 6 months away from home is such a long time :D
It's only after going away to Delhi last year to study that I fell in love with my birthplace...before that, as often happens, I had taken it for granted. Of course Delhi has its charms (reserved for another day, another post) and I am deeply in love with it as well. But there are reasons for falling in love with Delhi and..... simply NO REASONS for being in love with Odisha.
It was not long before we stopped in front of our gate, rather time appeared to have flown...amazingly fast.
My Mamma and siblings were standing at the gate waiting for me since the last 15-20 minutes. The reception I got made me feel like I was returning home after many years lol. First the lemonade n then the humble iced dahi-pakhala, sajana saaga, badi choora, aloo bhartaa n stuffed kalara made for a sumptuous dinner. And for desert we all had kalakand-my favourite.
The Odiya newspaper lying on the coffee table, though could not seduce me to read it, yet lured me just enough to go and pick it up and admire the curvy, artistic Odiya script. Every little thing seemed to pull me towards it.
And in the morning...ohh...I only wanted to go out and explore how the place had changed. A number of new apartments had come up along with a few restaurants, which were under construction the last time I was here. All of dis was pleasing to the eyes. There was familiarity and there was change as well. there seemed to be a magic in the air...a certain dunno-wat that kept infusing into me a feel-good factor.
The not-so-busy highway was an endearing sight. Me walking solitary on the clean road with no rush, no traffic to worry about with a lovely zephyr caressing me was all that I needed to rejuvenate myself after the tiring train journey.
And that's the way it is here.
I realised it sometime back that I had always this thing in mind that the way people are here....that's the way people are everywhere else, ok at least the majority.
However, when I started noticing the fast life, a lifestyle where people are always on the go, always surrounded with people, people with plastic smiles and fake concern, people who just need any random reason to go to Barista or McD and celebrate, but have no inclination to slow down the tempo of their lives and be with themselves, be alone and nurture their inner springs of energy, when I started coming across tales of the local youth misguiding tourists regarding the route to their destination just to have fun, to the tales of gory crimes committed in daylight, to how gullible foreigners are made to pay almost double the price of everything in open markets....I realised that there actually are many reasons why my sleepy little Jharsuguda is better than Delhi in some ways.
A hard-to-describe feeling when i saw the name of stations written in Odiya, and not just and English and Hindi, aboard the train....that's the moment it had dawned upon me that I actually needed no reasons...no reasons indeed....that I have always been in love with my state...that only the acceptance came late.