It’s indeed amazing how the world changes in a span of few weeks. It’s a little over four weeks that I had left this town to go to India on a vacation. It’s not that I was fed up with the scenic beauty or the quietness that nearly makes me go crazy at times. It’s just that I had a wish to be back and visit my people, place and country for a short break. When I left Stavanger, I had left it as a warmer place in October, where I did not need my jacket or 3 layers of clothing to escape the chilling breeze. I had left a place which welcomed people, to walk out in shorts and a t-shirt.
However it has changed so dramatically that I am unable to accept it the way it is. As soon as I landed in the Sola Airport in Stavanger last Sunday, I see a different town than the one I left about a month ago. As I alighted the aircraft and climbed down the stairs onto the tarmac, the chilling breeze of the city gushed down the miles of open land to embrace me with excitement. Though I appreciate the excitement in retrospect, at the heat of the moment, I felt my head splitting on a thousand ends, my nose refusing to inhale the chill air at -10 degrees Celsius and my chest complaining as if an avalanche had descended upon it. I finally set my afoot outside the airport after collecting my baggage and waited out in the cold for the bus to take me home. From a land of familiarity (India) – in 15 hours flat, I was back in Stranger Land (Norway). The worsening weather further added to the already existing woes of lacking the sense of belonging to Stranger Land. The bus didn’t disappoint me for too long and soon rescued me from the breezy deserted stretch outside the airport. As the bus wound around the roads of Stavanger to take me home, my mind was silently observing the changing landscapes outside.
The lakes had nearly frozen and also frozen were the shores where the waves of the sea once used to lash tirelessly. The waves now looked like small pieces of ice that used to stick out from the freezer of my Godrej refrigerator when I was growing up. There was no visible indication of fresh snow, but yes it had snowed some days back as I could see some powdery snow, which had yet been reluctant to melt down despite the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Could things change so much in a month? My mind internally switched from the changing landscapes outside to the memories from the past month in India. Be it the immediate excitement of meeting folks back home as soon as i landed on October 22nd , the times we spent travelling, eating, cooking, watching movie together or the time spent celebrating wife’s birthday, diwali, mom dad’s anniversary, kartikeya, meeting Anu, Mahesh and Sanju in India, those times-places-moments spent in driving 1500 kms of my Swift with family, or the trip to our native place in southern india and to Tirupati, it all came back as a flash. It was as if only yesterday, me and wifey were riding down the bike in South Goa to those exotic places and suddenly as I was caught celebrating the memories of the past one month with open eyes – there announced the bus drive “Clarion Hotel”. I was suddenly woken out of my day dreaming and softly egged by the bus driver to get down at my stop. I got down the bus and dragged the two pieces of luggage on a quiet road with Christmas decorations donning the streets and no visible signs of life.
As I fumbled into my bag searching for the apartment keys, I realized, it’s time to let go off the good memories in India and time to accept and live the chosen path of self-exile. I turned the key, opened the door and walked into the loneliness and warmth of my house to find my room as I had left it – the towel donning the armchair, the jeans covering the door in the hall as if it was a decorative artifact and the kitchen platform – spic and span as I had left it. The motivation to cook is no longer there. Guess one month of vacation has turned me lazy. Time to gear up and get adjusted to this life @ Bachelorhood 2.0!