A Long Trip Home
Nothing beats great tunes, in a comfortable car, at an empty motorway, on a shining morning, under an open sunroof and a drive towards the home town. Especially when a chauffeur is driving and I am cuddled in the back seat with the remote of the car stereo in my hand. I am lost in a Punjabi folk song that shifts my mood and stirs my soul.
We were raised in a culture where friendship was as dear as blood relations, sometimes even more than that. Friends shared happiness, sorrow, hardships, and victories. They fought the fights for one another. They offered shoulders for a friend’s burden. We made friends within the extended family, in neighborhoods, in schools, and in colleges. As we stepped into practical life, we started trading those friends with colleagues, acquaintances, and new relatives. Our preferences changed. We started using our time efficiently. Our schedule began to bend to our responsibilities, feathering away from our hearts and passions. And somewhere between all of that, we began to follow greed instead of love.
Unbeknownst to us, we had “matured”. We had replaced conversations of sweet nothings with our new business plans. I wonder, does maturity mean losing innocence and becoming self-centered?
After leaving college, life gradually becomes like a tied horse that pulls the cart of family life. An existence bursting at the seams with bills, mortgages, feels, and other allied circus roles. We begin to live merely to make our ends meet. Those of us who go beyond that to achieve luxury-living further get lost in a pool of extensive hard work on the job and in their business. Poor, rich, or mediocre family life has its own demands and time is the biggest of all of them.
We find no time for ourselves and tend to stay away from true friends. When we occasionally see them here and there, we throw a stone-like “Hello” and dry “How are you?” on each other. Our meaningless replies, “I am good, and you?”, drift us apart even more. The days spent with belly-aching laughs and shenanigans seem so distant, almost as if they existed in another life. Then we begin to lose them in the circus of our daily routines. They say, “hidden from the eye is lost from the heart.”
The undeniable truth is that those who have once resided within the realm of your heart can never be erased. It doesn’t matter if that relationship ended on a sour note, hearts never forget their dwellers. You can hate them from the deep pit of your stomach, but their memories are locked in your cerebral matter. In the vast universe of your being, live all those you have loved and continue to love. And there are always days when the locked away memories sneak up on you, so crystal clear as if within reach. In such pictures, you see your hometown in the background.
This song has stirred up a whole movie before my eyes. I could not resist such nostalgia for my first home and I decided to spend a night there. I have major business interests, a beautiful house, and an agriculture farm in my native town yet coronavirus and business activities in other cities have kept me away from my native soil. I asked my chauffeur to take me straight to the place my heart is leading. And what better than a cherished reunion with the homeboys over a round of golf?
“I knocked and the door opened, but I found that I’d been knocking from the inside.”
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, Photographer