Monday, December 21, 2009

To Dig Roots or To Take Flight

I resume writing after almost a month and half. Have been busy with the 'idea' of moving continents and all things related. We are finishing the do-able, must-sees ...all very touristy I must say. That is the easy and the fun part. The not so fun part is emotionally and mentally preparing ourselves to say good-bye to a place we called home for the last seven years. It becomes even more difficult because I came here a girl and am leaving a woman. I became a housewife, a mother here. I also re-discovered my faith and evolved some more and faster.

We prepare ourselves to cut off those ties that bind us to this place, to go back to the ties that tug at us. I prepare myself to say adieu to all those whom I reluctantly be-friended and more reluctantly leave behind. The smells, the sounds (or rather the lack of it as it is in typical suburban America versus India), the food will be missed. I will miss the old Indian gentleman whom I would chat with in the laundry who would pine for his village and his friends. I will miss the African American woman who smoked like a chimney and whom we lovingly and secretly called 'Chimney'. How similar and yet how different we were. I will never forget the way she stuck up to us after an argument with a particularly racist white man for some petty reason. She told me "Do not take that nonsense" and told me stories of her childhood in rural Mississippi.

I will miss all those who stood by and even those who did not because they all taught me a lesson or two. I thank the technological advancements for once, knowing it will allow me to stay in touch more easily than ever before.

But yet as I prepared myself to fly back home, I was jolted by the news that I might be going somewhere else. Hubby dearest might have to go to UK for a couple of years. I still am not sure if that will happen and will not be till I am actually there. But the surprise did lead to a lot of sighing and thinking and feeling blue. I am a tad bit tired of living as if I might have to move in the next 2 months. I have lived without fancy curtain or cookware and cutlery. I have learnt to be happy and have at times gotten my way and hung up elaborate Madhubani paitings not caring if I lived here for a day or a year. I have sometimes given in to the practical problems of baggage and shipping etc. And sometimes thrown all caution to the wind. I do have some regrets and mostly that I would have be-friended some people earlier than I did for they are such wonderful people and I would have loved to know them longer.

But yet another move, to yet another country. I gave up on my professional aspirations the minute I became a mom and I have never regretted it. But the resolve to follow my husband around and be a family sometimes has had me floundering. I just saw Julie and Julia and loved it. I loved the story, Merryl Streep and Amy Adams. I could relate to their stories (not the cooking necessarily) and loved their married life. Great husbands, great families with lots of love to go around. I could also echo the question Merryl asks in the movie "Where is home?" and am trying to understand the answer her husband gives "Wherever we are"
One thing that I learnt from the movie was that a lack of a sense of purpose and a sense of joy could arise with or without the kind of nomadic lifestyle I live. It could arise with or without the lack of a rewarding career. As long as we were togther and happy and in love with ourselves, each other , life and God we could figure it out.

The power to make a situation sunny and positive lay within me. The movie taught me that. My husband says it more often than I would like to hear. My scriptures say it. I am a part of the supreme whole and hence I am whole...complete and powerful.
So why be in doldrums at all. My sense of purpose is for me to define. Why challenge the master plan. Maybe I was born to roam.
Travel, absorb, learn, integrate, assimilate........there is so much to be seen and there is so much to be learnt. I am eager to return to my land, my people and most importantly give back. And I pray that I will do that soon. In the meantime I will give back to my family, and communities wherever I am. Period.

Hence pine I will no more. Or at least try very hard not to. Digging roots at the moment is very attractive and safe but I shall not tremble at the idea of taking flight and soaring to new heights. God grant me the courage and show me the way.


D said...

You know, I'm totally enamoured by the idea of shifting because I've lived in one place all my life! I've never really wanted to live abroad till very recently and even now, I just want to do it temporarily. So I can only imagine what it must feel like to be where you are right now. But like you said, if you accept change with open arms you may not grudge it. All the best for the future.

BK Chowla said...

Normally change brings a lot of surprises and happiness.It sure pains when one has to leave a place one has spent so many yearsat.
But,you must make the best of the situation.I am sure you will.

Rinky said...

Manu, we could be country neighbours in future. Paresh and I are shifting to netherland probably. so, we cud possibly meet outside India.

Chrysalis said...

D: I have been moving around all my life. Even as a child I lived and studied in Africa for sometime and travelled across Europe when international travel was still not so in vogue. Even within the country I have moved and never lived in the place where my mothertongue is spoken :)
So sometimes I crave for digging my roots so that I am surrounded by people who have known me all my life :)
But I guess it will be ok where ever I am as long as I know I am going to return to the motherland.

Chowla Sir: I am determined to make the best of it this time. No moment spent in pining :)
With the kids going to school now I will be free to get back to part-time work or some such engagement hich will keep me busy.

Rinky: How exciting is that? If I am in London and you in Netherlands , I am definitely paying you a visit and vice versa.

Vinod_Sharma said...

You write with a lot of feeling. Pangs of separation from a place and friends you have fond memories of is always painful. Part of the journey Chrysalis. You never get used to it, no matter how many times you do it. It is never easy to start your life almost afresh repeatedly. Take a deep breath...and move to wherever destiny takes you, UK, India, wherever.

Poonam J said...

Your pangs I totally identify with..having married into the Defence...home was where we were, and then we moved continents...came to Canada, settled our kids here and went back home to the globe is our here in canada enjoying my grandchild....Our parents are in India, so we live a divided life...heart here in Canada, soul in continues, with afew regrets but with a lot of gratitude, to the people who touched my life in an alien land which also became my u say....I accept the master plan...May u have acomfortable move and afulfilling stay where ever u are. I am blogging after a long time....will catch up later

Anonymous said...

That must be quite a difficult move after spending 7, such important years of your life there. All the best for all your plans! Am sure everything will work out for the best.

As for digging roots - I can so identify with it. I am just waiting to get back to Bangalore for good. At the same time, I am sure I will feel the same emotions you have described while leaving from here. The years spent here in the UK will always be special for me in so many ways.

If you do end up in UK - do let me know if you need any help in settling in.

Prerna said...

change is the rule of nature..and sometimes it really cherish u..
wonderful and interesting indeed