Monday, June 15, 2009

Lucidity With Lufthansa

The tiger came out of its cage. I was on my way back to home (India) after 15 months. Jan 2008 to May 2009 - This part of my life is called 'Running', running for Vitamin M'. It was the time, i needed it the most. Life was fair to me. It gave me more options to choose, it opened new doors to go on. I went to different countries, different timezones but not as a different person. 1.5 years away from home, friends, Trichy, Thiruvanmiyur, Thiyagaraja DTS, Cauvery DTS,T51, 88... and the list goes on. It wasn't easy but it wasn't hard. I always think a lot about my past. 1.5 years went on so fast, while I was living in the past. Needless to say, we are all slaves of our own thoughts. I decided to come out of the cage.

I had a transit for 3 hours in Chicago. I recollected the things happened that day. It was a peaceful friday morning, 29th May 2009. I woke up at 5AM. It was not because the alarm went on or my laptop was playing a favorite song. I was awakened by the 'tick tick' from my Titan. It stopped ticking on 3rd March 2008 at 6:00PM and suddenly started working again. That was a good sign. I had my flight to India at 11:25AM from GreenBay. That morning, I was totally isolated from this world, my friends and especially from my work. I disconnected my mobile connection, returned my office laptop, speakers disconnected and all my items were packed last night. But, that didn't matter to me and I was totally happy. Nothing matches the feeling of returning home. It was like the feeling of a soldier returning to his own country after a war, a bird coming back to its nest after the day's struggle, a lost goat coming back to its master, a river meeting the ocean :). Three hours went like three seconds.

I watched the passenger loading bridge being put on place. I boarded the plane around 3:35PM. Memories came alive in me, they kept me alive. 'Will I meet my well-wisher again?' Hoping against hope, can be called a stupidity, that was my thought. My next seat was empty. I imagined, as soon as I fastened my seat belts, there could be a surprise awaiting me, with my well-wisher sitting next to me. I would be chatting all the time. When we run out of words, we could cherish in each other's silence & smiles. We could inhale each others' silence and exhale a beautiful poem. Things that are not possible, always amaze us. I tried to convince myself not to think too much about it. I have tried it several times in the past and systematically failed every day, every week. Trying to forget someone you like is more funnier than trying to remember someone you have never met. I was tired of thinking & smiling. I felt asleep.

The imagination continued in my lucid dream. Lucid dream is a kind of dream that comes when you are aware or awake, yet you are still sleeping. There could be lot of changes happened in the last 1.5 years, I said to myself. Hutch changed to vodophone..R15 might be running on a different route.. Cost of living in Chennai might have hiked up. New TV channels might have sprouted out of nowhere. The trees i loved might have been cut down for playgrounds and road extentions. The squirrels and crows that played in our house top might have migrated and moved to a new cool location. It is best to accept life as it really is, and not as I imagined it to be.

I woke up with the jolt of the plane landing in Frankfurt. Frankfurt airport was so beautiful. It was around 7AM local time. The light of the dawn was filtering through the curtains. I did not want to take my camera out. I wanted to cherish those views only through the lens of my eyes. I was sitting on the benches for almost four hours in the state of the most intense joy. I watched the clock ticking at the rate of one second per second. The longest part of the journey, 9 hours and 15 minutes, started at 11AM local time. I did not have any expectations for the seat next to me in the Frankfurt to Chennai flight. I thought of inventing some fairy tales I could tell to my friends,  my parents about my journey. What you have read so far is one among them. Hold on, the story is not complete.

I reached Chennai around 12:00AM on 31st May. The flight attendant thanked everyone of us for choosing Lufthansa. The entire airport looked so fresh and pristine. After the immigration check, the passengers emerged and embraced whoever was waiting for them. I pretended not to notice anyone. Since it was early hours, I had asked my parents not to come and wait for me. I even told them, most of the time, flights wont arrive on time. I hurried to the exit and felt someone calling me. I turned and looked around. There was no one I know. Auto Drivers and taxi drivers can easily pick people like me, who come on their own, all alone. I moved slowly to the ATM to take money. I knew, some special auto drivers will charge Rs.10 extra. 'Do you need change?' A voice came from my back, so close to my ears, yet familiar to me for years. It was my Dad, waiting for me. 'How.. how did you manage to come here?', I asked. I was not interested in his reply. It was the moment I could cherish with my life. I heard him say, 'It's a sumaaal world'. Oh yeah.. that's my favorite quote. :)

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