1235 km, by walk and 1335 km by car. (I searched it in Google maps.) Yes that’s the exact distances from my location in Delhi, to my home in my beautiful city, Jamshedpur.
Some people never fail to mock me for the fact that I belong to Jharkhand, which is apparently only famous for naxalites, and uneducated people. Nevertheless, I take pride in it. For those who do so, are either unaware or aren’t well read about people and places. Neither are they explorers, nor did they receive a good primary education, you see. Otherwise they’d have known what geography had to teach them about coal mines, steel plants, first planned cities and so on. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t deny the fact that there are many problems that exist in my state. Coming back to my city, Jamshedpur, Oh! It makes me nostalgic every time I talk of it. A city full of hopes, dreams, and colors. Trust me, it has a lot more to offer than steel .
Above all, it offers you serenity. A person who has once lived in Jamshedpur, would always have a soft corner for it, no matter which metro city you live in. One shall always be a little more biased towards that town which is full of warmth. It accepts you with all your talents and your flaws. It accepts you for who you are. No one would judge you whether you wear paragon or a puma. It’s a mixed atmosphere back there. We celebrate Eid with as much enthusiasm as we celebrate Durgo Pujo. I’m a Bengali, but I enjoy Chatth Puja the most. The Kharna, Kaddu Baath, and specially the Thekuas. One can notice approximately 10000 people on the banks of river, Kharkai and Swarnarekha. (Yes, we have rivers too!) Diwali, Christmas, New Year, and Holi are no less. Each festival is celebrated with a zeal of oneness. It’s an environment after all.
It’s been almost 10 months since I’ve been in Delhi, but I couldn’t accept it as my own. Yes some of it is my fault, for I start looking for the same kind of essence in it. Here every location has a different specialty. Laxminagar wouldn’t hear the Dhaki’s beat in miles, but CR Park is full of Puja Pandals. Connaught Place is full of life, rolling everyday in the same pace. Metro full of people catching their destinations every moment. Yet, each festival here is welcome by a tear drop running down my cheeks, and Baba’s voice cracking down on the other side of the phone. But I can never gather myself up to tell them how much I miss them. I’ve always been this way. Bottling up emotions, never to let anybody know. Only after he cuts the call, do I let my heart shout out loud. The shrills of cry combined with the noise of the Diwali crackers fade into the vast sky. In all these months I could only head home once, during the winter vacations. Sadly I could spend only a day with my sister who happens to live in a different country. She forced me to stay back for a few more days, however, I had responsibilities to deliver back in Delhi. Amidst my sister’s rant of how I seldom call her, or my mother’s complain of how I hardly come home, it is my Baba who completely understands and supports me in every decision I take. Although, his sentences always end up with, how I made this choice of English honours, even after taking Biology in 12th Grade and thus I need to do good. But somewhere deep down I’m aware of the fact that the so called society does question him for my choices, but he like a proud father, always backs me up.
Conversely, you learn a lot. You learn to wash your dishes. The same dishes you made a face at, when your mother asked you to help her out with. You learn to wash your clothes. Not everyone though. I didn’t. I still bundle everything up, and take it home to get it washed. And no I don’t usually stink. You travel alone, look for your own safety. Whereas back at home, your father would drop you mostly at every place you wanted to go. There’s no one to tell you if you are going the right way. But, you have a lot of opportunities. Right from internships, to attending workshops, to participating in different competitions, and enhancing your skills. You are the same person, and at the same time a different person altogether.
People always run after the search of complete freedom, only to find out in the end, that sometimes scolds are a pleasure. That these little fights are the thousand memories you crave for, when no one is around. Biryani loses it’s charm to the “ghar ki bani hui daal chawal.” You spend each pie, considering every situation that you might have to face in the next half of the month because now, you have to take your own responsibility. When the nearby egg seller offers you Thekua saying, “Madamji, hum bhi bihar se hain, humlog bhi Chaath manate hain, aap lenge thora sa Prasad?”, you can’t help but cry within, and smile at him, for in a distant land, this stranger feels like the paradise you call, “Home”