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I boarded the train to Nasik with heavy baggage and a heavy heart. I was getting goosebumps going back to Nasik to attend a family function after such a long time. I had almost decided that I will never go there again to attend any get together.
My Sister and my Aunt were accompanying me on this train journey. They too had some apprehensions about going there, but they seemed much more relaxed, at least that's what their countenance suggested.
So here I was, sitting in one of the worst kept trains, completely annoyed with my surroundings, which further aggravated my misery. I wasn't able to discern, what was bothering me more; the train or my apprehensions about this journey or rather the destination. Meanwhile, me, my sister and my Aunt had some rather long conversations, as it was time to catch up with the happenings in our lives. During all that talk, my mind would invariably keep going back to the original question; "Why the hell did I embark upon this journey?" I couldn't find any answers.
The ghosts of our collective past have been haunting me for almost 5 years now, which is why I have turned down the request to travel to Nasik ever since, unless something really urgent needed my attention. That would strictly be a one day trip. Nothing more.
We reached Nasik at 4 o clock at night or morning. Uncle had come to receive us at the station. My heart started pounding as we approached our house. I didn't want to stay there. I just could not come to terms with the divided house. A House, not divided by physical structures, but the hearts and minds of its inmates were now poles part. Both my uncles wouldn't see each other eye to eye. This was in complete contrast to my childhood days when all of us grew up together; Children and Adults alike. It used to be one big joint family during my summer vacations. No one could tell, who is whose child. Everyone was loved and respected equally.
I had not spoken to my cousin brother, son of my estranged uncle, for almost a year now. Everyone said, we were inseparable as kids, even though we used to fight like crazy. We were brothers more than cousins. And now, things had reached a nadir; I had to take permission to attend his wedding. Almost unfathomable not too long ago.
The festivities began the next morning with a lot of fanfare and everyone seemed to be in a jovial mood. However, I was still stuck in a time warp where the divisions didn't exist. I was craving for that elusive wish to come true. That morning, I happened to cross paths with my other uncle and Aunt. Spoke to them at length, as to how they were doing. They were and are still the same for me, regardless of whatever had transpired in the meantime.
However I was pulled up by others for this brazenly defiant act of mine of talking to the other side. But, everyone was back to their usual self soon as though nothing unholy had happened, just a moment ago. Seemed like, I only had to be reprimanded enough to realize the ground realities.
That evening I happened to go the temple near our house. Place, which we so often visited, as kids, during our summer vacations. Although I am no more a believer, but that temple was more than a temple for me. It was one place where I could sit and reminisce the moments of yesteryear's. It was a storehouse of memories treasured over two long decades.
After spending close to an hour at the temple, alone, during that rainy evening, I realised, perhaps I was the only one who had not yet come to terms with the present day. Everyone else had moved on with life. I needed to be a little more brave to accept the facts as they are and not yearn for how they ought to be according to me. That was surely an exercise in futility.
That moment I decided to wave Goodbye to the disquiet I harbored towards my tumultuous past and accept things as they are. Things now seem much more easier to handle.