With my hands firmly on the steering of the car, I was trying to reach a destination whose route I knew by heart. It was in the same town where I had spend most part of my life. I knew those roads so well that I could even reach there with my eyes closed. But, even with my concentration bang on the road and keeping my eyes right over the beam of headlights of the car, I felt like a person who was in dire need of navigation. I was taking wrong turns on the roads I had grown up with. The streetlights on the road were somehow failing to serve their purpose. I felt like I was driving alone through a pitch dark narrow tunnel. The loud noise of traffic from the outside felt like falling on deaf ears. It was totally silent in the car. I could not feel anything. I felt like someone on a decent dose of afeem (opium) whose senses were shut down and whose concentration was hanging on the tip of a needle.
All I was trying to do was to follow the Doli of my newly wed sister.
As per the rituals, the brother is supposed to deliver the sister's belongings to her 'new' home and family. Such a trivial task of delivering some pieces of luggage had never been so hard for me before.
I had never thought I would feel that way. I am known in my family as the 'cold' one. I am known to be too practical, blunt, hardhearted, expressionless, feeling-less with my-head-before-my-heart kind of guy. They say, this is the reason I live in a 'cold' country like Germany with such ease. To an extent, I would agree with my family. I do not blame them. I prefer to have such an image.
I have had many fights with my sister as kids. There had been times when I didn't talk to her for long periods. I remember as kids when we used to fight and when my parents took her side I used to say, "When she gets married, I would light up the house with desi-ghee diyas". The house was definitely lit for the wedding but with a completely different feeling than of those times. I understood and knew that nothing would change after her marriage. I have anyways lived away from my family for more than 10 years now. She anyways had lived in Bangalore for a couple of years away from home for work. I knew that we do not live in times or society where meeting or going to sister's family used to be formal and seldom. I knew nothing would change but still why did I started missing her that evening would still remain a mystery to me. After all, I am the 'cold' one !
I still do not understand what kind of feelings took over me that day in the car. I never ever cry but there I was sobbing inconsolably sitting in my seat with a flood of tears and emotions in my eyes. I was unable to find my way.
There are some things unexplained in life. That moment would go down in my life as one of them.