North of the Deep South.

A migrant rants.

It has been more than a decade, since i put my home city of Madurai on my rear view mirror. Firm in the belief that my future lay beyond the semi urban hinterland of the deep South. And trudged North of the deep south. Armed with whatever a small town living and a simple middle class upbringing could provide. To the wallet and to the mind !

With wide, dreamy awestruck eyes i stepped foot in Bangalore. Bangalore had already taken off. As a wide eyed young man, it seemed to be a no-brainer that i was beyond the influences of the people and culture of my past ! I thought i had arrived. And my future was in the promise of the new found land ! North of the deep south !

Only to realise, within a very short time, that whatever went into my wonder years : the small town upbringing, steady rhythms of life, an emphasis on simple values and shared love, would never be beyond me. But more importantly, it would be the essence of me, in the hustle and bustle of burgeoning metropolises !

And from then on, I have made it a point to return. Just like i have done now. For renewal. For faith. And just to soak in the air, the love and hoping that the spirit gets auto renewed. Like it always has.

Here. There are houses where there were paddy fields. There are malls where there were houses. There are huge apartments where simple stores once stood. There are new stores with neon signs. The old stores continue becoming new. The temple towers stand. They share the skyline with numerous Telecom towers. There are new names to old streets. There are new street corners. There are new streets.

I stand. Just as another tourist. Camera in hand. In my own land. Clicking pictures of what i think has changed. And of what remains, for i know, what remains will also change.

What goes into the camera goes in. What cant get into the camera’s many GB hard disk goes into my memory. I relive moments from the past. Moments when i smiled. Cringed. Loved. Smiled. Won. Lost. Ran. Walked. Jumped. Fought wars. And made peace. And grew up. Indelible moments.

The settings may have changed. The script is still relevant. It will always be. For it made me.

Tonight we catch Train No : 6731. And head back. North of the deep south ! I will carry with me a million pictures and a zillion stories. And as the deep south recedes in my rear view mirror, i am pretty much sure that a fresh spirit will course my veins.

Sincere wishes for good tidings from the people and land that made you, they say, stays with you. So they say. I have no reason to doubt that. For, my life is blessed. In the north of the deep south.