by Madirekshana Chakraborty
Despite the acrid stench that hung in the air, a familiar aura of joy washed over me as we descended upon the city that was no longer mine. The state of catatonic stupor the hard seats had left me in could only be cured by long walks along the transient streets that encompassed all Bengali evenings.
I remember leading my grandfather by his hand. I thought of the house, a pinprick somewhere in the sea of concrete subsuming the city, standing perhaps since the beginning of time. The house I was born into, whose ocher walls had mothered me and my mother before me, on whose roof I lay under a chadar languishing in the scorched sun all my summers. The endless Indian hot month always seemed a little hotter here, always adding a little more colour to the skin. I had missed how languid it's lungi clad residents were and the honking of its resident yellow ambassadors that plague it's every street.
I had missed home.
This year, the endless summer was disguised into a ten day quick visit. My grandfather
was too weak to walk. I basked in the sun with an added layer of baggage only a high schooler would understand and sunscreen. They stopped making ambassadors a few years ago, a white body with a yellow number plate and 'UBER' plastered on its back windshield is the new self-hood of taxis these days. I forget these things as we circle the city. It deceives me of its volatility, revealing to me only its birds eye view.
I was home, whether I recognized it, or not. ***