The autumn nip in the air, a sense of anticipation, festivity, celebrating my father’s birthday, family get-togethers— that has been October for me for decades. October makes me happy and a little bit restless too. Even without knowing, I become a better person, a tad more giving and a little more forgiving too. October is the month which sees the start of the festive season in many parts of India. Dusty Ahmedabad (where I now live and work) suddenly looks like a new bride as Gujarat sways to garba beats and revels in the intoxicating romance of the nights. Yet that doesn’t entice me. The colour, the celebrations, the frenzy make me feel like an outsider. That’s why, I run back to Orissa to add more new images to the collage called memories.
But remember the saying: The home you leave is never the same you return to. This time I am returning home during October (after giving it a miss last year). There’s an element of pain and sadness within me. October now reminds me of what I don’t have (the loss of my father and my beautiful loving aunt) rather than what I have. Or may be I should just look back with fondness and celebrate what I have gathered in the journey of all the Octobers that have passed by me but stayed in my heart for all times to come. Here’s to you, October.