Home after roughly three months, I hear the front door creak in protest. Has it come to terms with me being away for so long that it doesn’t want to handle another change?
I notice that the colour of the wooden furniture has dulled, the polish from years ago has started peeling off at the corners.
There are new switches next to old sockets, the fan is still dusty but faster, and the washing machine suddenly looks like it’s dying.
In the kitchen, the oil can has changed, and I can’t find the chilly powder.
The emptiness I left behind in my sole cubicle in the ‘everybody’s cupboard’ has been replaced by sarees that I have never seen before; what was left of my clothes squished in one corner. How the neat pile of my discarded clothes have paved their way into the stack of clothes-that-I-may-wear-again and the clothes-that-are-reserved-for-special-occasions is nagging the tiny ounce of OCD in me, but I say nothing.
The soap tray in the washroom no longer hold a Dove soap-the only one I’d take a shower with, so I make do with what currently appeals to everyone else.
The dream catcher that was a birthday gift from three years ago still hangs in one corner of the room, all dusty beyond recognition, just like the friendships it has witnessed.
I still have the same aversion towards food, despite my cravings for home cooked food back in Mumbai.
I suddenly find my parents smaller, their wrinkles bigger. “You have become thinner,” I tell my mom. “Have I, now?” she stumbles for a reply. Conversations between us never go beyond a few lines; some things never change.