What happens when you move around a lot is that you get used to leaving. It becomes a part of you. I moved every year. So, leaving was never difficult. I just…… left. There were new places to meet, new people to see, dragons to slay, trains to be counted & litchees to be stolen. Did it hurt? Was it difficult? I don’t know. I never tackled it like that. It didn’t really feature big in my scheme of things.
I’ve always had people upset with me for not keeping in touch (Arijit Bose, if you’re reading this, consider it as part of my apology). But I had no idea what they were talking about. I mean, I’d gone away, and now I was in a new place, what was all this fuss about? Why was everyone so upset? What was I supposed to do? Stay on the phone and whine about how much I miss everyone? That couldn’t have helped.
Ok fine, I’m lying. It really stung. Quite a few times. But I didn’t deal with it. I think the trick was in ignoring it. The first time was when my best friend in the whole world left to go to Islamabad. Reem & I were inseparable. And my dog Josephine was always with us. We used to gossip, read books, play badminton and cycle around all day. She used to get attacked by monkeys every now and then (we were in Assam.). And then one fine day, just like that, she left. For another country. And to make it worse, there was no Internet in 1992. And I missed her so much, but then I left a year later to come to Delhi. So, new people, new school, new weird girls in really tiny school skirts. And so on went the cycle of adjusting and then moving. And if you ask me, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world. There was always so much excitement all the time… change really was the only constant.
The reason why I got so reminiscent in this post is because I just spent three months (on & off) in Delhi. Initially when I was told that I had to go to Delhi for three months I felt ill. Like, physically ill. I didn’t really fancy going to Delhi for anything. Plus three months was like three years, only less.
But I ended up meeting some bizarrely interesting, stunning people and had such an amazing work stint there that when it was time to leave, I felt the same gut wrenching feeling I used to get when I’d have to leave a city or have a friend leave my city. And this time, I didn’t want to ignore it. Hence this note.
Sure I recover fast, it’s my mechanism, sure I won’t be ace at keeping in touch …. but I have the superpower of some beautiful high resolution memories which I carry with me all the time. The romance of that combined with meeting so many different people so often is a heady, heady mix. And I’ve kinda gotten addicted to it.
I’ve had 31 years and so many lifetimes.