I believe I will never actually go back home.
Gas prices have skyrocketed and the return to Mauritius has now become a mind numbling task. This is what gas prices does to us: Takes us back to medieval times, when a person traveling from China to Bactria would spend his whole life on one single journey, and by the time he is ready to return home he is now near ready to die. Such is the quandary I am in. I had left home in search of adventures (Phd, Science, Art, travel etc), and now ‘going back’ has become a Herculean task. I have actually morphed into, Ulysses. The dream of going back is a dying light. What do the poets have to say about ‘Le Retour’? Is going back just a physical act of buying a plane ticket, sitting on a flight, spatially reaching home? ‘Going back’, to me, means resettling, a re-discovering of one’s past in the living present. The place has changed. The mind has moved on, memories are awash, and the series has ended.
But before I fall into a senti-mode, let me dream of an illusory return back home.
I will get out of the plane and the sudden usual heat wave will hit my face. After a long journey via Europe, tiredness will not dare touch me on the way out. A little part of my soul will sponge out and clean the pain, and I will be prancing ever forward. I move, where are they god damn it! I reach the customs counter, and lo and behold, the rich tourists are all in joyous moods, being treated like kings returning after conquests. The locals on the passport holder lines as usual being totally ignored by…..the locals. I stay magnanimous and smile to the customs agent. He never replies back of course, the ignoramus. His only kind words, “ welcome to Mauritius, now buzz off ”. Just after I exit the arrival area, I am stopped. “Are you carrying any valuables Sir? Nope, nothing Sir, just myself, let me go. I got to catch my parents. His hair would be like snow by now, and Ma will have a little limp in the leg, teary eyed. Her tears increasing proportionally, as I approach. But wait a minute. I do not see them. So I rush to the baggage collection sector, also known as the ‘impatience zone’. It is late as usual, the luggage is taking for ever. Finally, time to load and run out. I walk out of the main gate. No one is waiting for me. It is pitch black outside, the streets are empty. Not a car, not a bird, not even air. “Did I not tell you, not tell you, not tell you ” says the voice. “They have all left, It’s been way a long time my friend, you took too long……took too long…took too long…the Lord of Death…..he never waits”.