To move from one phase to another is like throwing your emotions under the shelf and pretending that it is all good to keep on going. If not whole, moving at least defines a part of it! But surprisingly, I have managed to adapt to places way better than I expected of myself. And yet, I would not say that adapting to a changing environment is comfortable. It falls on my shoulders as a compulsion that I oblige with little questioning and more anticipation. Perhaps, I have been tuned that way. That said, I still get emotional about the places I have lived in. Sometimes, I tell hubby that we need to visit my old building where I stayed with my flatmates, while I was working with an MNC. There was this lady across the road who used to make the best poha and upma in the world. She used to set her kitchen by 6:30 sharp. The huge cooking pots would be placed on the stove. Some oil, a handful of mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, toasted groundnuts and then a pinch of turmeric, chilli and coriander powder and finally chopped onions would go in the pot. Once the onions went translucent, in went the fully drained poha. A touch of salt completed the steaming breakfast from heaven. She used to garnish it with some grated coconut and with some peanut coconut chutney before serving. That kind of breakfast for me was sheer ecstasy, considering I am more of a heavy breakfast person. (I can skip lunch and dinners but not breakfast) Maybe next time whenever I visit Pune, I would like to see if she is still there. There are many other things that flood me with nostalgia. Post marriage, we lived in cozy quarters by the side of a lake. Good neighbors, Bird music, lovely sunrises and sunsets and all that made me feel so close to Nature. Every time, we visit Pune we do visit this location and then sigh – “Oh! Our home!” Well, now someone else’s (Govt quarters after all :))
And then, we moved to MP for a while. It was a blissful stay there too. Awesome neighbors, a near by school and a lot of enjoyable social engagements made our stay in the place quite worthwhile. From there on, we again moved and, Rajasthan welcomed us. I love this state as the basic cultural etiquette is quite similar to that of Gujarat (my home state). Also, it is the state of the famous Dal Baati Churma and, I have been head over heels in love with this dish since ‘I don’t know when’! That said, I moved back to my hometown Bharuch for a year in 2015 because of certain work related engagements. So, I have been pretty much moving like a nomad for the past 7 years. And, all that moving and packing has rather humbled me. But wait, the moving phenomenon was not that new to me. It did happen the first of all times and it happened at a time when I was oblivious to the concept of – Out of your comfort zone!. The first moving episode happened for me, in the year 2000.
Year 2000: I finished my X grade from a convent that was affiliated to ICSE board. Post which, my parents felt CBSE or state board would be a fair choice for me to get over the next two hurdles of XI and XII. At the time, I had little clue of what I wanted to do with my life. So, I went with the flow. Joined a new school that was affiliated with CBSE. I had to leave my friends and my teachers behind. It was not easy. A part of me had stayed back and cried perhaps, at the sudden change. Years later, I comprehended this emotional turmoil as, moving on! That was the only year I had felt a stabbing pain caused by the sudden change. Considering those were the ‘crucial’ years, there was no time to start friendships from scratch. When I had confided my feelings with my father, he nodded his head and said – You will do just fine! Surprisingly, I did fine. I even surprised myself further by indeed, making some amazing friends. Of course, the first two days did feel like my first two days in Nursery. Eventually, things fell in their place and I was in a happy space again. Then, the much dreaded XII too ended. College life began. The four years of engineering were supposedly the best part of my life. That period was a roller costar ride for me as I learned a great deal about friendships and all other emotional cocktail that tags along. I learned to pick myself up during rough times, and at the same time learned the art of dodging curve balls. This was like a self learning process wherein, the instincts were powerful enough to guide me towards making friendships with the right people! I totally adore the friends I made in my college life and, I still feel the same surge of enthusiasm whenever I speak to them. But then, life moves on and, college life ended too. The way the phases of life were passing by, it dawned gradually on how time controls everything. We just have to keep moving all the time. Surprisingly, I did not cry when it ended. Rather, I was looking forward to the next chapter and pondering over what it would bring me. And then, work life followed in Pune. The years breezed by. Marriage happened. Baby came. The mommy me took a break and yet, the segments of life continued to unfold, sometimes slow and sometimes fast.
And now, as I look back on the warm memories that cling to me, in the past one year, it is a revelation about the very beauty of time. Time is probably the only entity that has watched me intimately over the changes I have embraced, changes I have discarded and the changes that have moulded me into what I am today. It is again time for me to be moving back to the princely state and, am wondering about the new chapters that are yet to unfold. Moving ahead is a beautiful experience though it doesn’t seem to feel so at the time of moving. And yet, we discover the reason later.
Here, I am reminded of a favorite dialogue from the movie – Lucy: “Time gives legitimacy to it’s existence. Time is the only true unit of measure.”
Now, isn’t that true? Till then, cheers to all the times gone by and, cheers to the good times for all of us J