Monday, July 20, 2009

Connections and Jet Trails

A few days ago I got a facebook email from someone I hadn't seen in over 20 years. A friend. An old friend...from school, perhaps starting from 8th or 9th grade. I remember her still...slender, two long braids (yes, hair could not be left loose in most Indian schools), her uniform dark blue skirt just grazing her knees, white shirt buttoned up all the way, black shoes, white....really white socks.

I emailed her back. A couple of days later I heard back from her. She was in Paris on her way to London for a vacation. I could have met up with her while she was still in France but it was already too late.

How fluid our lives have become, the lives of our generation? We move across borders as if boundaries don't exist. Vacations outside the country were a rarity when I was growing up. No longer. Living in India or the U.S. or Europe doesn't matter. We leave our homes traveling across, soaking up other countries, other cultures, then return to where we live.

Can we really call them homes any more? These places in which we live and cook and eat and love, and then leave.

Do you ever look up into the sky and see jet trails? They reminded me of giant fingernails scoring their way across the sky. Love marks. And now I wonder if perhaps, instead, they are the ephemeral traces of our lives that try to intersect but then slowly evaporate beneath the heat of our frantic and frenetic lives.

I wonder about these things sometimes.


Sher said...

It still takes my breath away how well my kids know the routine for getting on a flight. I was 17 the first time I left Britain... and it was on a bus.

C. said...

Nice introspective post, Jawahara. I think that most of us who do criss-cross continents regularly, often ponder the same thing. Our kids take it competely as a normal part of life. I never even had a family summer holiday outside a 2 hour drive from home growing up.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Most interesting post. I went to the same place, every year, when I was a kid. An old cabin on a Minnesota lake two hours away from my home. Waited all year for that week. Took my kids there for most of their years to meet up with my family. They, too, still love the place even though I've taken them all over the country and two have traveled through Europe.

Jet trails? I watch them and always wonder where they are going. Sometimes a frantic and frenetic life makes me wish I was on one of them. Traveling to somewhere more exciting than the mundane. But stopping to watch them? I think that is a key to not letting the pace swallow us.

Anamika said...

Lovely post.

Banta Singh Sunami said...

I love seeing jumbo jets. Every time I am at a big airport, I try to find at least one 747. They are always flying far away.

My first flight was at 21 when I left my childhood home to move to the new world. It was a jumbo jet so to me they always symbolize new adventures and also a way back home to a simpler time.

dipali said...

I loved the imagery!