Apologies for being AWOL. I made a quick..18 day trip home and just got back. Home, this time, was clearly Hyderabad for me. There seemed no conflict. It was such a short trip that I didn't even get to visit my beloved Bombay.
The highest high of the trip was the fact that I was accompanying my sis and niece Kavita, and I was the "surprise item" since my parents had no clue I was coming along. During the few hours in the flight before landing, my sis and I were busy fighting over how we would execute the surprise. We finally decided that she walked out with the bags and Kavita, and I trailed a few people behind. It was easy to lose myself in the crowds. But I thought my dad spotted me from afar. He went out back and brought my mom. While I had been debating if this trip was a smart move, being that I was jobless for this month, had no paycheck, and was splurging on a last minute ticket to India, for such a short duration, the utter thrill on my mom's face was worth all of it and more. For that tiny millisecond, my niece Kavita got a break from grandparent-fawning and all that as my mom and dad just assimilated my presence. It was awesome. I was grinning from ear to ear, my mom was yelling at me for not having told her earlier (Mom, that's what is called a surprise, yeah?) and my dad was busy theorizing on how "he had a slight inkling". Jeez.
As soon as I found out that I could actually travel between H1 transfers without any hassle, I decided to accompany my sis on her trip to India. So this was quite impulsive, unplanned, and the usual last minute mayhem preceded my flight to India. The short stay in Hyd was totally whirlwind with utter family chaos in the house, what with my sis and I arguing over every small thing and my parents too busy with my niece to take any notice of our attention-seeking attempts. It was complete craziness. The days flew by, I made a short trip to my hometown and back and before I knew it, it was time to make that loong trip back to the airport and get back to reality.
Must say that the swanky airport in Hyd at Shamshabad is awesome. Very very world class, equipped with a massage spa amongst other fanciness, and the good thing about being so far away from where anyone lives is that the visitor crowd in the airport has reduced considerably, making life simpler for passengers wielding luggage and rushing to make flights.
One of the fun things I did was taking my niece to a near-by school for Republic Day celebrations. It was an awesome blast from the past for me, as the little kids gave speeches, enacted dramas, got prizes, and I got to see kids in NCC cadet gear taking part in a marching parade, etc. etc. It took me back to the times we did this in school, and eagerly awaited that little plastic packet of samosa and peda that would be distributed at the end. :)
Lowest low point of my trip: I thought I would be pretty okay about not visiting Bombay, but during my return to the US, I flew via Bomay, so had to land in the domestic airport and take the shuttle to the International terminus, smelling Bombay air all the time but not getting out into the city. I felt a sad tug in my heart and very much regretted not being able to spend time in Bombay. It was very saddening and I hope to never have to do this again.
Ah well. All in all, I am so glad I had this break to give me some distance from all that transpired over the last several months before I quit my job in Philly. I am back to reality, harsh cold weather, moving pains, badly lit apartment in expensive city, and basically a host of new challenges now. In a weird way, I am actually happy that my new post-doc position is not exactly a "Dream position". It keeps expectations in control, keeps the excitement intact as there is a lot to discover and learn, and keeps me on my toes as I am well aware that I will have to make this work for me, come what may.
Good luck to me and its good to be back in this little blogger window, typing my thoughts out. :)