I hadn’t gone home in years, for a lot of reasons. It didn’t matter all that much. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew most of what was happening in my life anyway. They always gossiped about why I kept away – stories ranged from my occupation to my personal life. My family loved to recount all those tales whenever I called.
“They think you’re a spy,” my brother chuckles. “You’re not, are you?” He adds doubtfully a second later.
“Myra’s family is convinced they saw you in Australia,” my aunt whispers. “That’s rubbish.. isn’t it?”
However, my grandfather came up with the best one. “Mr D’Silva says you lost an arm in an accident. He thinks you’re too upset to be around people.. how ridiculous! You’d want to be around us if you were in any trouble. Wouldn’t you?”
These reports could crack me up when everything else was in gloom. That’s how highly fictional they were. I’m not a spy, although I could be a pretty good one. I haven’t been to Australia, although I would love to go. Our family vacation is long overdue. And finally, my arm is all well. The only accident I’ve been in is tripping over an empty can of soda, which I survived without any fatal injuries.
After one such call, I looked out of my window and observed the path that led up to my apartment. It was uneven; just like the one that led home, just like the mixture I prepared for baking a cake, just like the books piled away in a corner of my room, just like life. My life, in general.
Uneven, uneventful and yet unpredictable – I’m happy living the way I am and occasionally indulging in a little treat. I’ve never wanted more, though I’m a lot more homesick now than ever before. Uneven as it is imperfect, it’s those imperfections that are so beautiful. And now.. I’m finally making a decision. I’m going home. It’s not just to show them I’m alive and well because it is. It’s also to catch up with my family and go on long walks, have ice-creams together and renovate the house.
I can see the uneven path in my mind even as I’m packing and can’t help the smile that spreads across my face. It’s been so long. I’m going home. It’s going to be alright. All of it.