Work. Relationships. Friends. Travelling. Sleep.
Every millennial you talk to these days has the same tale to tell and retell - always tired, mostly busy, and yet never do we have the time for the things we want to do in life.
Even when we push ourselves, there is only so much we can manage to tick off our to-do list.
But in the middle of it all, your phone rings. It's your mom. You're busy, you tell her. You say that you will call her back. You get home late. You never call.
It is funny how in the crazy cycle of our daily lives, it is our family time that takes a back seat. You can't make it in time for the dinner table conversations because your meeting ran late, you can't go out with the family on Sunday because you're still nursing the hangover from Saturday), you are quick to get irritated when your dad asks you something because you have too much on your plate to deal with already.
I imagine it's worse for people who stay away from their homes. Too tied up in their lives, sometimes it becomes hard to even find the time to talk to people back home. Sometimes, it's hard to find the will to do so. And yet, mingled with the peace of living with all this freedom and space to yourself, there is always that nagging longing of the "back home".
But there is something about the festive season. That nagging longing becomes a full-on rage, a need to go home. You crave the comfort of the bed you used to sleep in, the arms that have held you for ages, and the food that you will jump countless hoops for - you crave for your mother's hug, your dad's banter, your older sister's gossip, your younger brother's pranks.
Long story short, you pine for that place you call home.
Maybe it's the fact that the festive season is a time when the whole family is free from the boundaries of work calls, 10 PM meetings, and ideation sessions. Everyone is home, everyone is relaxed, and there is that sweet undertone of happiness in the air. Your mother is constantly smiling, or cooking only to feed her kids who have come home after ages - and just for that, just for that one smile, you wish you never have to ever go back again.
Cousins come over, there are card parties and cocktails to be had. There are dhinchak dance steps to be grooved on in the drawing room, uncles to make bad jokes with. In fact, you are so happy that when you hear someone mention "shaadi" from some corner of the house, you laugh and take it in your stride (before running off to the other room).
And then, when the diyas are burnt, the rangoli has bravely faced all the running kids, the mithai ka dabbas are empty, and the house needs cleaning all over again, it is time to go back to that life that you forgot about in the sweet bliss of bonhomie and family time.
But after all this time, when your bags are packed and you are in the cab back to your flat and #EatSleepWorkRepeat life, it strikes you that no matter how mad life gets or where you reach in life, your home will always be where your family is. You realize that no matter the jobs, the girlfriends, the breakups, the paycheck, the parties, the fancy shoes... nothing would mean much if there aren't people back home always waiting to share your happiness.
And that, my friend, is what changes everything. And after you realize that, maybe you won't keep your mother waiting for that call.