I had vacated my apartment and left the town that was home for six years. Leaving lutom (little university town of mine) was not at all easy. My closest circle of friends had already left over the past year and more, but the hardest part was saying goodbye to the town. I was looking forward to India, so it made things easier.
Bombay, India - the city that was home for 22 years. My brief stopover in Bombay was laced with some confusion. We stayed with old friends, in an unfamiliar area. But I traveled to my old haunts, and underneath the layers of increased crowds, traffic and superficial changes I could still find familiarity everywhere. I was home, again! I met up with old friends and enjoyed the opportunity to just be me, not have to worry about being understood. Because they simply accepted me for what I am, no questions asked. This kind of comfort is priceless and hard to get. I am lucky to have friends like that. Nevertheless, there was a clear disconnect between our lives, and things that I was utterly incapable of relating to. What I considered regressive thinking was just a way of life for them. I couldn't hold it against them, nor could I go preachy on them for how I thought things should be. They had made their choices and my once-in-a-few-years visit and few hours-long talk wasn't going to revolutionize their life. They weren't even asking for it.
I had a hectic three days in Bombay, trying to take in everything, eat all possible junk food, meet all my old friends (and one new 'blog' friend ;)). Even before I could have my fill of Bombay, it was time to get on a flight to Hyderabad, my parents' new home.
My entry into Hyderabad could've been quite depressing. Instead, I was lucky to meet up with another newfound blog friend who showed me around town, easing my entry in so many ways. Finally it was no longer "this city called hyderabad" to me, but a nice bustling city with a lot to offer. Even though the road sense and hyderabadi hindi is never going to sit right with me, I think there's ample scope for fun and a lot of good things my parents can enjoy too. After a fun weekend with the blogfriend I came to my parents' house in a far-flung suburb of hyderabad. I surveyed the new apartment, contemplated the water shortage, and went through all the boxes, trying to see how much of my stuff had made it from Bombay to Hyderabad. I went to bed tired and a bit disoriented. My parents let me sleep in like a queen, and I woke up to the smell of mom's cooking. As I sat at her kitchen table wolfing down her delicious upma and getting royal treatment from my doting parents (I know it won't last long ;) ) I realised that the hindi, the water shortage, nothing mattered. This is home!
P.S: Sorry for the unanswered comments, I am too paranoid to open up my blog from my dad's computer, hence will continue posting via email only. Thanks for stopping by and commenting y'all. :-)