When I was little every journey to the farthest place on earth – then to me it was Ambalapuzha, and anticipating the day I would be taken aboard the KSRTC Fast Passenger or Express to Allapuzha was an exhilarating feel. Any journey outside home in Thiruvananthapuram was eagerly looked forward to and anticipated with unbearable impatience. And closer it moved to the day or hour of return back to the kind of boarding life back home in TVM which was detested with melancholy and self pity and the inevitable could not be staved off.
Years later it was absolute elation when chance came to move to New Delhi with a job on hand. And the feeling of “Born Free” stayed put at every opportunity to be away from home in TVM.
Further still many more years later, the first opportunity of almost a month of travel and living in a foreign land outside India was a dream come true. And that too to a land so well painted on film in the movie “Puppet on a Chain”. Schipol ,the windmills and the canals that were amply seen in many shots in that movie beckoned me.
But then I noticed while away many times since that there was often a lonely feel and solitude that was quite dishevelling at times. The similar feeling stayed often to disturb and sometimes disorient the work I travelled for. The feeling that I was far away from home and the country I was born and lived all my life. Though no patriotic fanaticism or fervour may be subscribed to this statement
And I feel the same now, only into my second day of a three week journey to South Africa. True it is a country I have never been before and the myths, legends and stories of life, living and the dead that I perhaps gathered about the continent and the country through my staggered reading of these past years should in all way make me awe and wondering in anticipation the journey and the days I will be here. But that is not so.
The longing to be back home is pestering. Could it be because of the age, being alone here, or the perennial problems that confronts my livelihood back home?
Just can’t tell, But the fact is that age perhaps has mellowed the urge to be alone. But is that a comfortable sign? One has to be alone one day whatever one may want to the contrary.