Even though Rishi knew that he’d be treated like a king for the next 30 days, Rishi was not particularly happy about stepping down in the place where he was born. The urban life which he was now so used to living will be totally gone.

But, there was a bit of fun involved too. Not like you get nothing new here. For example, Rishi quite enjoyed the hand rickshaw ride from the station to their place. In between, the roads, the graffiti on the walls all gave him a nice travel experience. He noticed how the real estate scene in this place is totally different. There were no buildings built by builders, with individual flats. But plots of land being sold to families who in turn made bungalows on them.

One of these bungalows would be his house. Where he was born as an inmate, but will now go as a guest. He noticed that his mother was very happy, she had already started off a conversation with the rickshaw wallah in her native tongue.

Just as we were about to reach the gate Rishi’s mother asked Rishi to get down and get some chocolates and biscuits for the kids. She gave a 100 Rs. note to him, of which Rishi brought goodies worth Rs. 30. Looking at her mother’s happiness he decided to pocket the remaining change.

The welcome began when Rishi saw two little kids looking expectantly at the road for their arrival. Rishi gave them the chocolates he had brought for them, and the kids too decided that saving them for later is not such a good idea. While this was happening, an uncle of Rishi’s immediately made his presence felt by haggling with the rickshaw wallah over the fare.

***

Once, the welcoming and the formal rituals of touching everyone’s feet was over, the whole extended family including the maid-servant, sat for tea. It is then that the conversations began.

Memories were exchanged and laughed over. Rishi, himself was reminded of his childhood exploits which he had no memory of. His mom, now that his topic was on, enlightened others of how he has been behaving over the past few years. His immense laziness and notorious character especially when it comes to money were the points of reference in making up of stories to tell others.

Rishi, soon realizing that he had nothing from his side to add, began interviewing the kids who seemed as lost but still very happy. Rishi soon lost interest in that activity also.

“So, Sir Rishi, what would you like for today’s lunch.”, his grandfather asked.

“Anything.”

“No, no. How come anything? You come here, once in a year. Something special has to be made no.”

Seeing Rishi’s inability to answer the question with Chicken Tikka Masala, or Mutton Do Pyaza, his mother pointed out that this fellow only liked Non vegetarian food. Something, that was not really allowed in this conservative Brahmin family.

Ultimately, some ‘really tough to make but not so tasty for the tongue’ vegetarian preparations were ordered . And, the ladies of Β the house were set to work. Conversations between the elder people and Rishi’s mom continued as usual.

Somewhere between these conversations, the light went off leading to a few muffled moans amongst the people. Rishi, though for the first time had a smile on his face. He said,

“Now, it feels like I am in my motherland.”

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