I have spent majority of my school life in a boarding at Mt Abu. We had winter vacations for 3 months and one month out of it was spent at my maternal grandmother’s house in Veraval. I looked forward to it and cried when I had to go back home. There were 5 houses in the same compound. It was bustling with kids, adults, gossip, stray dogs, coconut trees from which we had fresh coconut water, fights between kids, badminton games, sneaking away for junk food, movies in our own theatres, outings to Somnath and Gir. I have 7 masis (mother’s sisters) who stay in other cities and their kids visited adding to the chaos. Festivals, weddings, events were best celebrated here.
In 2008, I moved to Mumbai from Gurgaon for a sales role. I had to manage sales and distribution for Saurashtra and Kutch. My base was Mumbai but I spent maximum time in Rajkot. I left one bag in Rajkot everytime I traveled.
I am back in Rajkot for the first time in 7 years and it still feels familiar. You know when you just feel like you belong? That’s the feeling I get here. I know the language, the Gujarati spoken here has a certain sweetness. I have grown up with it. People are hospitable. A retailer actually served us water without asking for it. At every store, the owners were nice, laughing and chatting like they have all the time in the world. And they do. At 1.30 pm, all the shops shut and the city prepared for lunch followed by siesta time which would last till 4 pm. I never found it weird when my father, who is a doctor, came home for lunch and a nap. I thought that’s what everyone did around the world. The people are the same, the executive was around in 2008, so was the distributor, so was the salesman. It’s like time has stopped still and all the memories are coming back in flashes. I close my eyes and can see events of 2008. I can recall friends, conversations, events, incidents… so many memories.
The funny part is most of the people from that year don’t exist in my life in a big way anymore. It makes me wonder will the important people in my life right now be there 7 years later? Am I investing in the wrong people? Or it doesn’t really matter? Just give what you can and don’t expect anything in return. Nobody is going to be around any way. There is a reason why am a human- capable of love, friendship, kindness, conversation and not an animal. Right? Should I live to MY fullest potential instead of the potential of the people around me?
What do you think?