He wanted to hug me. Wanted to snacth the troli and bags. I was too busy running ..chasing my dreams.
She was crying. Actually they both were. I was not sure what to say. How to react. Finally my dream was coming true.
I said to him, ´´Baba, stay calm, look after your health.¨´´
I said to her, ´´Stop being such a baby and be proud. Your daughter is doing what you dreamed´´.
The wonderful new Internatioanl terminal of Netaji Subhash Bose Airport made me too engrossed in my dreams. I was afraid to get sad, afraid to miss them. I kept on telling, they are going to be with me. I´ll skype them. Its just a small world. I must not get emotional. And so, I said them good bye.
I reached Delhi Airpot. Super Excited. Air India flight was 2 hours late, giving a very small gap to take my luggage to Air France. The big confusing terminals made me realize first time that I am all by myself. No one is there like my baba to take my luggage, like my ma to arrange my hair, like my didi to supply me plenty of water and food, like Debmalya, to helpo me sail through the crowd, with his protective hand always guarding me.
And the airport was so big, so complex, so confusing and so professional.
I realized. I am now all by myself.
I am going to be all alone. In a big busy organized world.
With a chocked voice, and horror, I realized Air France was about to leave in 30 minutes. And there were 100 people before me. I had to rush, I had to run. And I was too scared to realize I was crying .
Finally, requesting other people to let me get ahead as I was already late, I managed to reach near the counter. I had only 20 minutes left and the moment I asked for my boarding pass, I realized I dropped my passport while scanning my checked luggages.
The world spinned around me.
The boarding uncle asked whats wrong with me. Why don´t I let other people come before me and clear the counter.
And I started trembling. I donno what to say. I wanted to cry loud. I wanted to call my father, my didi, Debmalya, my mother.
I thought I´ll never make it to Air-France. I tried to envision what is going to happen if I miss the flight. I don´t have enough money to buy another ticket in such a short notice. Also, getting a new passport will take more than one week . So, will I end up being nothing?
Am I going to fail again, just like the old times?
Then I gathered all my spirit. I am not going to give up. I must run. I must not give up.
So, I ran back to the counter. Luckily the ground-crew of Air-France noticed my passport being dropped and they sent one crew-boy to give that back to me. I met the boy halfway.
So, my trembling reduced a bit. I returned to the counter. The man asked what are you going to do if u are that much careless etc tec.Then after veryfying my backround and learning my ´´IIT Kharagpur´´ past, he appeared as helpful. ( Brand value reduces your height of stupid appearence , whethere its your academic pedegree or your T-shirt brand :))
Finally, checking everything, he said you still have 15 minutes . You have to go around 2 kilometer. The AirFrance Terminal is far far far from here.
So, I started running.
I never ran like this before in my entire life. Running from all the sadness, all the bad memories, all the fear, all the failures, all the disapponitements .
Run , Haima Run. As fast as you can.
I kept on telling myself.
At some point I could not make it anymore . I was thirsty, I had no strength left in me. All the airport cars were filled by people who came early. Still I tried continuing to move further as fast as possible. Finally, an American Couple stopped their car and asked me to come along.
I reached the terminal just in time, shaking with both physical and emotional exhausion.
Air France was marvellous, exactly what I thought. But there was a strange lack of cordiality in their service. They were too professional.
After a nice dinner and ice-cream, I settled down to watch some movies.
I chose ¨Life of Pi¨
And I forgot the rest of the excitement, I was seeing me in that boy. I found a strange correlation of me and the boy. The upcoming uncertainity, leaving behind everyone who matters. I was so much engrossed in the movie. Hours passed. I was so void, so unexpressive. I did not know what to say , what to think. A strange emptyness. I was too lost to cry. I could feel the pain and excitement Pi was facing.
Then Paris came. By then, I was wide awake for 30 hours. My copassenger was a helpful Punjabi guy, also heading towards Barcelona. I followed him in Paris Airport to reach the terminal.
I was blank. I was clueless.I was still feeling like I was in that same board, only without a tiger. And I knew my family is alive back in home.
After waiting for another 2 hours in Paris Airport, finally my plance came. I headed towards Barcelona.
The warmed up cordial small Air-france from Paris to Barcelona in early moring was much better than the trans-continental giant Airfrance that brought me from Delhi to Paris. Everyone was talking in the plance. People were helpful, smiling, happy. I knew I choose the right place for me.
When I reached Barcelona Airport, I was afraid once again. Nobody understood English. Finally , a Man from Joypur, guided me in airport to reach my destination. I was so accustomed to ask people for help by then. And contrary to my fear, people were always smiling , willing to help me.
When I reached this amazing village of Spain, in that sunny mid-day, I instantly fell in love with the view. The mountains, the lake, the sea.
I learned, dreams can come real, hard-work can pays, and problems do get a way to be solved.
Today, I just completed 30 days in Barcelona 🙂
A lovely 30 day.
Once again, life is good. just like 3.5 years ego, when I entered into IIT.
Some very famous grad-dad from Computer-Science asked me to come alone. He even shared his basic research drafts with me. But American Grad-life as a Computer Science student in an industrial city occur to me not as much exciting as a Physics student in a beautiful European Village. I was confused. I did not want to pursue something just because it is financially attractive and in my reach.
Changing career at the end of 25, that also in the field of Physics is very tough. Frustrating. I have many idea over the past 3 years in my own field. But I was never happy. For a single day.
So, I kept on trying and trying to figure out what I want. Nights after Nights, after returning from my office.
Finally things worked out. The ray of hope finally came. I decided to be happy the way I want, not the way I should. Neither the way people will view me. Being a PhD from top 5 uni probably would give me a great career ahead. But, that is not what I actually want.
However, its emotionally exhausting. Reading stuffs for hours and still feeling like a dumb 5th grader is tough. Staying away from those who love me is lonely. No one to clear my messy bed, arrange my books, wake me up at 6, asking for little message in hand at night. Noone to stay with me in worst of circumstances, no one to stay with me and listen to my complaints. No one to love the ¨10-year-old Sakura¨ exactly the way she is.
Field of Photonics is like the Mediterranean Sea. And standing here like a 15th century explorer, I don´t know how to swim. I only hope that some day I´ll learn some basics of binding a boat , so that I can sail across to the nearest island . All I want is, to enjoy riding the boat and contribute something to the island. And, then, like Pi, I want to start my return voyage.
I have no option left now, except being a grown-up .