I usually pride myself on the number of years I have spent in hostels. To be precise, I have been in hostels since Class VII ... 4 years at Purulia, then a couple of years at Durgapur, and then 4 years at Surat followed by the last 2 years approximately at Mumbai. Yes, that adds up to close to 12 years. It is not that I have not met my family in this interval, but these breaks have been such treasured intervals that I think I have come to realise the importance of living at home, with family more and more. However, this has also caused a little queer notion to develop in my mind --- anytime I am at home, even between hostels and institutions, I feel like I am on vacation. As for example, when I passed Class XII and was waiting for the reporting date at my engineering college, the whole time went past just like another long vacation, and not like I was back at home. It is a queer thing to explain, I guess people who have been in hostels for some time will understand.

However, this one has been the longest that I have been away from home. The last time I was at home was December 2004. Yes, 2004 and not 2005. It has been a really long long time... long because the next one in the series of longest such stays away from home has been about 6-7 months I think. I do not usually feel homesick; but something happened that has made me homesick all of a sudden. I was leaving for a movie with my roomies, and the front door of the flat across was open. There was this smell of home-made fried rice and chicken and payesh (a Bengali delicacy) which was wafting out of that door. As I passed, I was lost for a moment... I felt suddenly transported in time and space to our little dining room beside the kitchen. Usually at this time there would be mother with my sister preparing the food, me making occasional blitzkreig attacks on the cashew and kishmish (some dry grapes... dunno what they are called), brother assisting my adventures with a "He also serves who waits and sees" stare. All this, with my mother usually trying to fend off the two of us brothers while standing on a tool and shouting instructions to my sister and at the same time shooing us brothers out. And I suddenly felt numbed, lost, and sad. I felt alone. I had credit cards, money and all in my pocket, with a full Mumbai nightlife beckoning me. But I could not buy that delicacy which was prepared at home and served to the family that evening. I felt homesick.

The last time I felt homesick was about 5 months ago, and I had spent the whole evening madly kicking a little smiley ball around the room, kicking with all my strength and cursing anybody and everybody I could remember, and then finally fell off to sleep exhausted. I think I will do something similar --- I don't know any other way of relieving this mood... this homesickness, this morose and sombre mood. I will be home probably in March sometime next... so I can and will call my family tonight... but I think that will make me all the more sad. And I also know that this will last exactly till the time I fall off to sleep tonight. I am just plain homesick for tonight.


  1. Yeah actually...can relate to what u feeling....this kinda feeling creeps onto u fr nowhere...u dont know what u hit it mood swing or whatever...u actually dont know what you wanna do...then u do nothing...and then the feeling subsides as if it were never there !!....yeah happens...not too often but...Thank god !

  2. Pallavi, you are right... it just comes out of nowhere. Glad you could identify with it.

    You know, I am always sceptical when I post anything like this: wondering whether anyone else would be able to comprehend (let alone empathise with) what I feel.

    BTW, welcome here! Will see your place soon :)

  3. Its the other-way-round with me. I'm kinda hostel sick now a dayz.
    I so miss my life in the hostel.You got no restrictions, no curfews and moreover no funda of taking a bath daily ;)

  4. Sajid, even I too am hostel-sick, man... remember what I said, "felt like a long vacation". After a month or so, you begin to solely miss the fun life at a hostel.

    However, I know what you mean about no curfews, etc. Guess what, Roz roz nahana, ab gaya wo zamana


  5. home sick.... sick of home.... same words with pretty opposite meanings. Anywayz, you know what? Sometimes lonelieness does strange things to our systems. And loneliness here does'nt mean lack of company. It means the inability to cherish one's own company. Waise I am glad that you feel better now. Hope you feel so Kolkata-sick sometime that......

  6. sajid, sudipta, I am sure you guys have just screwed up your chances of getting some female attention here. Gawd, you guys din take a bath daily? Does that custom contnue till date?

  7. hi sudipta sir,
    I am jeevan from NIT Surat. I dont know if u remembe me or not..i had once come along with u for the durga pooja when u were in the final yr.!! i was in the second yr at that time..
    u were very active even during the volley ball tournaments.. u used to water the court in H4.. n i think u were in the h4 A team at that time.. thts when u were in 3rd yr..

    u had once addressed the second yr ppl abt CGPA when we were in h2.. hmm dont u think hostel life at svr was gr8...??

  8. What is a "smiley" ball doing in your room?:-P

    Can't relate to your feeling though. I have never lived in an hostel. But I feel homesick sometimes when I am away for just 1 hr.

  9. Sunshine, Naah.. you get me wrong. It is not being lonely in any other manner than just plain missing people you love. As I told you, I am just as good as a lark right now.

    About the bathing stuff, see, we already got the attention! :) P.S.- What if the custom does continue? You faint? Let me see if you can guess whether I have bathed or not on the day I land at Kolkata, when I feel Kolkata-sick, that is ;)

  10. Jeevan, hey! I don't think I remember your face, but I do remember someone who went with me to the Durga Puja.

    But you got it all wrong! :( I really miss those days, and even enjoy my life here. But what makes a story is not what is regular, but what is abnormal, out of the line. Hostel life, indeed, was great!

    About all those wonderful things you reminded me, thanks a lot man! I do remember them. And one post coming up about me and my Volleyball adventures soon!

    BTW, welcome aboard! Will see your place soon.

    Poorna, the smiley ball is there in the room for the exact reason you read it... to take out frustration :P
    We call it the 'frustration ball' and not the smiley ball.

    About relating to the feeling, well, as I said, you must have lived in the hostels for some time before you can start getting a feel of that. But trust me that is a very treasurable experience to have in life --- living in the hostels. You'll understand when you are away for more than a month or so.

  11. abey ullu.....since when have u remained a bachhu?? ;-)

  12. Same here.

    I am perpetually homesick whereever I am - @ home, I long for my independence back, and the moment I have that, I long for home back!

    Meeting my family after a year this diwali was indeed a supremely fulfilling experience though - i have been staying out since last 10 years myself, but the last time I was around, I really felt @ home.

    Now I want to be home as much as possible before my other half comes into my life and makes a mess out of it... hehehehe :)

    Good post - very nostalgic!!!

    Happy new year to you!!


  13. Juggernaut, Ullu bhai, what is a bachhu?? :O

    Ok, in case you are referring to senti-waale posts, sometimes it just happens and I post them. Baaki sab thik hai :)

    Supremus, egg-jaactly my feelings! We never seem to get enough of living at either place. I know how you felt when you were home for Diwali. And you think your marriage will make life more of a mess? Naah... isn't it already? Can it be spoiled any further? :P

  14. It is not only the food that makes me home-sick.When I am alone. There is nothing to do.Nowhere to go.No one to talk.At that time, I badly feel home-sick.

    Few months before, I was ill.Friends admitted me to a hospital.At that time, I was seeking for my mother's soft touch to my forehead.I just waited for her caring voice.I was home-sick then.

    The day,I remember,when I received my first salary.There was money in my hand,but there was no cheerful face infront of me.No one in this big city to bother about me.On that day,I was home-sick.

  15. Sunshine.. Men taking bath makes news (I guess you must be aware of a certain individual going by the name Shah Rukh Khan :)

    Waise, what do women-folk know about the aromal pleasures of not taking a bath.

  16. Sajid, ROFL, man! Ek aur bahana!! :))

    Maybe you could look at this as well:
    Take a look at this post, if you want!

    Sunshine, HEAR, HEAR! And do not forget to read the old post above.

  17. :)) Nice...

    And thus the bedsheet attained complete nirvana .

  18. Cheer up,..march isnt very far :)
    BTW kishmish = raisins

    and err.. did that comment mean "post after a long time" or a "*good* post after a long time"? :p

  19. Sajid, ;)

    Make sure (or maybe I'll do) that sunshine reads that one.

    Twilight Fairy, ahh... so that is what people meant when they said raisins. Never connected the two till now.

    About your post... well, it was a really good post. But I do think your posts have been sparse lately. And if you want to know, well, it was a really good one after a long time :)

  20. cheer up. but i know the feeling. when it comes, it totally grips one.

  21. Sudipta, U refreshed the feelings of my college days...

  22. Man , i know what you feel like .le yeh le -

    * HUGS * ( non gay wala ):p

    Seriously man , though i hop home every two months , i know wat its to be like , when suddenly u want to be home with ma and sis ( bro in ur case ) and dad .its like a hole in the heart remains without home .chill maar bhai i guess shaadi karrne ka time aa gaya hai tera :)

  23. Look at this way. You will be able to appreciate you home and family better

  24. Parna, the feeling indeed grips you out of nowhere. And believe me when I say that I have already cheered up.

    Ritwik, long time no see! Umm... yes, these moments are so very nostalgic.

    Abhivnav, :P okay bhai... mere taraf se bhi ye le *jaadu ki jhappi*. Baat ghuma phira ke iss shaadi pe kyun aati hai bhai? :)

    Hiren, I have been significance of home and family for the last 12 years :) But yes, these moments do make me feel so much longing to be at home.

    BTW, welcome aboard. Are you Ajay's friend?

  25. hi sudipto,

    this is reshmi.

    well a similar episode happened a few week back.. one day i was on my way home from college .. and then i had to go to a shop.. i picked up my stuff and asked the shop keeper to hurry up.. as i had to rush to catch my bus. ( remember how much fuss i made about the bus ?? :) ) and then one more hour and i will be home.. but when i opened my eyes.. lo presto!! .. i was in a strange room .. hmm.. happes that way i guess.

  26. Yeah... you will get more of those blues until you get accustomed to them, Reshmi. So now you are reading through the eentire set of leftovers? Good-good :)

  27. hi,how r u?So u were in durgapur for sometime?How do u like the place n its climate?Where did u study in durgapur?
    Dont u get leaves when ur onsite?


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