"I let it go. It's like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home."
~ Joanne Harris
Last month, somewhere between the joy of basking in the elusiveness of a tropical spring and the sinking realization that it was almost summer, the river did bring me back home. There couldn't be a more befitting sequel to my search of home, my Bosphorus of the previous post. It all started with a trip home, with friends who had come from the exotic Mediterranean to see my state, Odisha. And the sights and smells that were once so familiar and so much a part of who I am today, came rushing back to me and how.
Despite the initial moments of foreignness, I refused to succumb to the touristy trap of continuously being taken as the 'outsider' by the presumptuous guides and vendors. All the time, I was acutely aware of being armed with a certain pride, one that comes with the prior knowledge of one's homeland. Also, seeing it anew, after more than a decade and half, with people who did not belong to those places gave it a fresh coat of perspective. The scenes that once upon a time coloured the canvas of our childhood, had gradually, over the years, faded into the banalities of adulthood. But the fact that they were still somewhere inside me, the significant details, while answering the curiosity of our friends was no less than heroic. The exquisitely-carved dancing girls of Konark, the roadside display of vibrant colours and mirrors shimmering in the hot sun, the crimson dusk framed by groves of coconut trees - little by little, it all came back to me. Or perhaps, I went back to it.