And he was home, after a very long time. He had been away for the first time, and back too since his departure. And now, being there – the presence of his own self in the place which was his home – he was happy. Extremely happy! And in such a state of exalted happiness he found himself torn between fetching memories of this place from his past to see, out of mere childish curiosity, how much of those resembled the present and imbibing every dram of now to make new memories while he still had the time. The frenzy seemed to dumb him down for a moment as an awkward grin found its way to his delighted face.
Soon enough it was time for him to leave home – once again. He was now back to being away. The air he now breathed was heavy with melancholy. He lay on his bed and closed his eyes, trying to fall asleep. Instead, he was unmistakably transported back home. His eyelids trembled. He now stood outside his apartment. Its brown wooden door appeared poised with the white wall around it; their edges blurred and running into each other. One corner of his eye held the door bell; the other held the black stairs running up. He stood motionless for a few moments. Then stepping back, he turned around and started walking towards the exit of the building. An old tube light hanging from the ceiling made a low buzz. The light from it showed varying shades of grey on the tiled floor and on the walls around till they ended in a blotch of darkness at the grilled exit gate. With every step, the roughness of the concrete floor outside the gate was growing vivid to his senses, like he was leaning against it. He stopped at the threshold and looked around. Yellow street lights and an occasional pair of wobbling headlights gave him a sense of the slope of the dusty street across. He stepped into the grainy darkness of the night.
This time, dumbed down by melancholy, he did not know whether to walk off into the night or go back inside his house or simply stand there. Choice was rendered futile in the pursuit of his past. But soon, he knew, the hopelessness of the pursuit would remind him of his present and eventually restore the power of choice for the sake of his future. "Soon," he whispered to himself and closed his eyes. When he opened them a moment later, he still wished he was on the other side of the world.