“If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food, it's a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.” - Anthony Bourdain
The first time I moved out from my parents was after my wedding. I was sad no doubt, but I was also excited and naive. We were going to live in this plush 3BHK apartment owned by Mr.Husbands parents. The catch - it was in another part of town. Matter of fact it was almost on the outskirts of Bangalore. Although I absolutely hated that it was so far away, I was greedy about the 3BHK. But as time went by, I went on to hate the place too. I felt so far away from everyone, I hated that it was so isolated from the city, hated that we couldn't just spontaneously decide to go out to dinner because there were no restaurants anywhere near the apartment. And as months went by I stared getting depressed, lonely, by this time I had also put my papers down at work because I couldn't handle the stress, well, also, I hated my job. And as time would tell, I started noticing that something was horribly wrong with me. Symptoms of CKF (Chronic Kidney Failure) started showing but I had no clue of what was happening and why. All this and managing a 3BHK was a nightmare! Thankfully, due to an unforeseen circumstance, we had to move out and move back in with my in laws. So there ended our 5 months stint.
Fast forward to my diagnosis, Mr.Husband and I decided it was best if we moved back in with my parents. So we packed our bags again and moved in to the place where I grew up. Looking back at the two years that has gone by, I feel like somehow everything that happened, happened for a reason. If you have seen my homepage, it says rebirth. I say that here too, because I feel I was brought back home, like a child brought back into the mothers womb. Where I had to be cared for, loved for, properly nourished. I felt like a new born with family around to cater to my every need, every second of every day. Where I was exposed to only a selected few for the first six months. Where I was served fresh homemade food, made with love and care. Life had to get me back home after my diagnosis. She taught me how to be strong, taught me to stand on my own feet, and more importantly introduce me to a very very important person - me.
Four days after celebrating two years since the kidney transplant, Mr.Husband and I have decided to move out. This time, we took about two week scouting, searching for the perfect place. Places we saw, some were trash - absolute trash, some localities I wouldn't recommend my worst enemies to live at, others had issues that we are hard core non-vegetarians - why is this an issue when the owners don't live there I don't understand. Anyway, the cosmos had something else in store for us I guess. She got me back in touch with a friend I hadn't seen or spoken to in years. She made me call her out of the blue one fine day about something that had nothing to do with moving out. But the day we spoke I mentioned that we were looking to move and the very next day she sent me the picture of the apartment with the owners number. BOOM. From the time I got her message, I knew that our search was coming to an end, and it did. I was so happy that it wasn't one of those high rise apartments. I cannot stand them. They look like ant hills where there is no sense of privacy and where everyone can have a little peep into everyone's life - nope, not my cup of tea. But this 5 storeyed tiny thing looked just right. It felt so right too, the timing of it all. And I feel ready, more prepared, ready to face the challenge and ready to leave my nest. I also leave now with a small little baby I created, she takes so much of my time, I feed her with all my energy, I keep thinking of ways to keep her entertained by creating new content, bringing in new people with new perspectives who want to contribute to her growth - rasamsambar :)
So, this is my way of saying 'thank you' to this place that will always spell home, my first home. A home I've stayed in for close to 30 years of my life. A place filled with energies and memories right from my grandparents when they first moved in in '69. A home where my father grew up in with all his brothers, where my brother and I were raised with aunties and uncles and cousins and our grandparents all around us. Countless memories playing on the streets with our neighbors, attending birthday parties, house parties, playing cricket, playing hop scotch, hide and seek - you get the drift.
This is my Bangalore. This is my center. This part, this cross, this stage, it's all I've known and seen and I've gotten so used to. Where everything is so accessible to me all the time. Its where my core resides. I couldn't have asked for a better place to grow up, fall down and grow up again. This time I'm not leaving with a sad / heavy heart, no, I leave with a confidence I never thought I had in me. I leave with a new sense of understanding and being. This time things are looking up and I'm looking forward.
Here are a few pictures I found from my childhood. Pictures taken around and in my home;
a. My brother, our cousin and me waiting for the school bus.
b. An Elephant from a Kerala Krishna temple that would come to bless our house every few months. (Its been a few years since this got banned; thankfully)
c. My Appupa and I
d. My sweet little cousins
e. My neighbors and cousins
f. Brother's birthday
g. Brother and I.