It is almost one and a half month I wrote in my blog after our return to India in the first week of January, 2011. It was cold. The systems are not in place in India to meet the winter. One feels shivering cold. We also suffered the cold and frosty weather. The traffic is chaotic and the public transport is no yet fully trustworthy. One needs to adjust. We moved into our small flat at the IFS Apartments in Gurgaon (a satellite town of Delhi). Though the residential complex is well maintained yet it is too dusty and dirty outside as Gurgaon is one of the fast developing town and the infrastructure is yet to come up fully. Obviously one has to live with it. Notwithstanding all these small problems, we were back home after a long stint abroad. Our family received us with great joy and gusto. The retirement in India particularly in the northern India is considered to be a good and happy occasion and accordingly everybody tended to congratulate us. We accepted the situation as it came, no regrets, as we have come a long way and not fared badly.
After a month or so in Gurgaon/Delhi, we went to Jalandhar, our home town in Punjab. My brothers and other kith and kin eagerly waited for us to welcome and congratulate us on our final home coming. We were touched by the welcome ceremony at home. It was a festive season at my home place- Bootan Mandi on account of the Gurupurab - the birth anniversary of Guru Ravidassji. We enjoyed and witnessed these celebrations after about one and a half decade. We were keen and excited. It was over whelming for us to see the scale and enthusiasm in which the occasion is celebrated. It was also satisfying to note that the the community and the followers of Guru Ravidass have registered a good progress and made a space for themselves in the society. But on the other hand, I was pained to feel and see that some of the self appointed leaders of the community were fighting with each other for their own selfish and limited agenda. It would do a great harm to the common cause of the community and take the caravan backward. I think, it will be a total negation of the teachings and mission of the great Guru Ravidass and the leaders like Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. It is time, to my mind, to think and mend ourselves for the greater good of the society.
We came back to Gurgaon on February 20. The following week our heavy baggage came from Minsk - a container load which was the accumulation of more than 10 years abroad. It happened to be a headache, as expected, as our flat is not as big to contain the huge baggage. There is no way. We would manage to keep the lady of the house, my wife Vidya, happy as she had some emotional attachment to her collections from various places. I will be failing if I don't add that the things at the official levels are much better. My employer, the Ministry of External Affairs, promptly did all the paper work and action to settle my retirement matters. The customs clearance and delivery of the baggage always gave me some additional worry. But this time, I must say with a lot of satisfaction and gratitude that things were totally smooth and there was no difficulty. All the concerned officials both in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Customs at the Container Depot at Tuglakabad were fully cooperative, helpful and courteous. Obviously it made our home coming all the more happy. We are in the process of settling down. The life continues.