For many, moving to a new city is a dream – a new world and  a new life. For me, moving to a new city was not something that I always wanted to do.  Not that I didn’t want to step out of my comfort zone. I knew I did not have the patience to deal with the logistics, unless absolutely necessary.

Now that I got a chance to move, I didn’t mind it. The entire process of packing, discarding, packing, more discarding, buying, discarding was overwhelming.  Especially when I had to run pillar to post to sort out my work formalities as well. Our last week in Chennai is still a sort of blur for me. I don’t know how we managed to sort everything and still make time to enjoy curd rice and pickle before we left. After exhausting every bit of what my tear glands could afford, we finally set out for our next adventure.

We were moving to Sydney.

As I sat at the airport lounge trying to make up for the lost sleep over the last 28 hours, I got to relax. I picked a comfortable couch and it was mine for the next four hours. It was mine. But only for 4 hours. I looked at the 3 huge boxes which had accompanied us. The victorious three that had made the cut, despite the merciless discarding exercise. This was it. Over 3 decades of our lives stuffed in 3 boxes. We managed to move our stuff from an entire apartment to a room. And then from one room to 3 boxes.

A few minutes before we left, I took one last walk around our home. We renovated our place a decade and a half back, exactly the way we wanted. From then I got my own study room and bed room. Though mom insisted that my sister and I had to share the rooms, my darling sister found her haven in my parents room. I didn’t complain. Every step I took brought back the most cherished memories. In our hall, the dhiwan and a comfortable cane chair faced each other right next to our French window.  There was a huge window, next to which mom and I used to chat after I got back from school, college. It didn’t matter how busy my mom was. It was a ritual. The cross ventilation and abundant sunlight gave us good company. Our dining table played host to some delicious meals prepared by Mom. I remembered how sis and I used to enjoy a meal in the kitchen counter when we weren’t in a mood to follow dinning etiquette. My favorite spot at home is our balcony with the huge traditional swing. I’ve spent many hours listening to music or staring at the world outside while I contemplated my world in my mind.

I was almost disconnected from the present as my heart was flooded with so many memories. I don’t remember how I managed to step out and board the flight. But there I was, waiting for my connecting  flight to take me to my destination. The initial excitement about moving to a new city had subsided, thanks to the months of anticipation. Once we’d received our visas, we were running here and there, sorting out all the formalities. On paper, it looked like we were ready to leave. Turns out, I wasn’t ready.

It was then that it struck me that you are never prepared enough to leave home. Even if you’ve seen it coming, you somehow never are. I knew life had to move on, but there was one small part of me that didn’t want to move on and pause for a while. Sometimes I yearn for a pause button in life to cherish the precious moments. If only!

It’s been a month since we got here. I didn’t have time to miss home, I didn’t have time to settle down. All I had was a day to relax (sleep, sleep and sleep) because we landed in Sydney on a Sunday and I was off to work the next day. The first few days were so exhausting that I had to pull myself to get through the rest of the week. There were more formalities to sort and it seemed as if everything was going on in a 3x speed. I was so busy with work and settling down that I could not even call my mom over Skype. Somehow, I managed to talk to her over the phone and tell her I slept and ate on time, and drank lots of water.

Distraction works well with me. I thought that, given the context of how so many things were happening, I was handling the situation well. And then came the weekend. I called my mom on Skype. I saw Mom’s face. I saw Mom at home. I saw Mom at the place that was my home. It still is, but I wasn’t there. It was the first time in that  week that everything I’d been putting on hold came back to me at once. My Mom, the house and the background and the food she was making was all too much to handle. I started missing everything about home.

You never know what triggers you to start missing home. The other day I made a decent dhal, Chappthi and rice with the ingredients I could find. I was immediately reminded of how mom used to make them at home. I missed mom’s food. And then the other day I saw a shoe stand which looked similar to what we have at home. I recollected how we had that specially made. I started missing home. And some of the triggers are so completely random, you don’t see it coming. I spoke to my sister, who moved to Singapore 7 years ago. I asked her when I would stop getting triggered by random stuff and get reminded about home.

Her answer was simple.

“Never!”.

Image Courtesy: Pixabay