A Nomadic State of Mind
I grew up in 8 different towns and cities in India, and attended as many, if not more, different schools. At 16, I moved to Singapore for my bachelor’s degree and right after that I moved to the US for my first job. 2 years in Seattle and San Francisco beckoned to me.
In short, I have done a lot of packing and moving for one reason or another.
I never disliked moving so much as a kid, my parents made it seem easy to uproot our lives, pack everything in a truck and arrive in a brand new city. I didn’t hate joining a new school or having to make new friends every couple years. Instead, it has been an incredibly interesting period of my life, an endless source of quirky anecdotes — the one where I kick-started my education sitting under a tree writing on a slate, the one where I skipped kindergarten, the one where I went to an all-girls school for a year…
We did finally put down roots in my father’s hometown, Dehradun, a small city nestled in the foothills of Himalayas. I have not lived there for 8 years now, ever since I left for school, however, it’s the only place I can truly call home. Home where we had elaborate celebrations for various festivals with extended family and cousins, attended schools with adoring teachers that knew us by name, life-long friendships that survived amidst regular teenage angst and heartbreaks, a house with a backyard which was lovingly and painstakingly transformed into a kitchen-garden.
I have moved on again, this time by myself, for an education and then a job and then another job. Sometimes, I wonder which place would it be where I find an end to this nomadic existence, a place to call home, again.