I haven’t been home for the last eight months. I’m the same guy who would run back home for a week every sixty days. But I had to skip going home this Diwali as I had taken days off earlier to attend a cousin’s wedding.
Now I’m here, at the place where I’m originally from, but where I’ve never really stayed. People here talk in a language that would be considered naïve in Mumbai.
As if it were a cosmic conspiracy, work calls have started. The day I arrive, I get a mail asking for my photos and available dates. Two hours later, a mail asking for my voice sample and available dates arrives. An hour later, I answered another call asking if I can submit a write-up for a reputed magazine by the evening. The next morning, a friend calls and asks me to mail across my photos as someone is looking for a model! She has already been selected and the shoot is in two days.
Meanwhile I’ve been shortlisted for another commercial with the same movie star I wrote about last week, but for a different product. They are to call me in a day or two, after which, I’ll book my return tickets. So I’m in a place far away from Mumbai. It’s wedding season and tickets are hard to come by.
The girl doesn’t call for the next two days. When I call her back, she says the agency has not made a decision yet. Meanwhile, I take time-out and forget everything else. I absorb the sights and sounds of this new place, the weather and the forgotten relatives. My olfactory senses are at an all-time high, the city smells different from what I remember of it fifteen years ago.
It’s a writer’s delight; I feel like writing about anything and everything. Every small thing is an inspiration, and the language and the people add to the imagination. I visit another relative’s house, which should probably be a heritage monument.
They are lucky the Archaeological Survey of India hasn’t noticed it yet! While leaving, I ask them not to shift out for another a year or two at least so that I may come back and experience life over there for a few days again.
When I come back to my senses, all my projects have been cancelled as I’ve been out of town. I’m selected for a photo shoot, but the flight ticket back is more expensive than my remuneration! I don’t get selected for the commercial either. Nothing fazes me though, I don’t have feelings to be fazed, only muscles.
PS: The Lokhandwala Lad is on Facebook. Add him!