Friday, October 29, 2010

Homecoming-first few days

So a journey which started 10 years ago, has finally come to an end. Our expat life is now past within a turn of one night. We are back to our homeland. 

The emotions are strong at this time as we on one hand are still feeling part of  our life we had yesterday. And on other hand we have already started weaving new threads for our new life. Although we belong to India and this is the country we left 10 years ago, but I must admit that before leaving India I lived only in Army cantonments and small university towns. Being a small town person, I can breathe freely in the small alleys, walk, bike with a bi-cycle and ride public transports, any small towns all over the world become my own with in no time because of these commonness.  Now returning to  a middle sized randomly and  rapidly growing  cosmopolitan city of India I am little bewildered. Traffic is wild, nothing is in walking distance and public transport is scarce, common idea is to drive a two or four -wheelers. Everyday I am telling to myself that give some time, it will be fine.

Our body and minds are still bit confused about new time zones and warm climate. We are absorbing the sounds, sights, smells and feelings of each and every day, but in slower pace as compared to when we used to come to visit home. We are relaxed and not comparing each and everything with how it is in abroad. Because our minds has set that now we are back, we are going to stay. So we are more at accommodating mode than the comparative one.

Luckily, 'J's papa already being settled here before us,  I got a waiver from  the the infrastructural establishment worries very common for returning expats. On returning my first priority therefore was 'J's school and putting her into routine. Although mid term and all, we have been lucky to get a place in a school (private though). Lets see how that goes, and how 'J' describes her days once she starts going. Also she will need to learn Hindi and little bits of other Indian languages, but she has done that before, she has learned and forgot German, learned English, so I know she can manage Hindi and other languages too. Only I need to be there while she will be putting new kinds of alphabets and words in her mind. First comment from her about Hindi  akshar (letters) was that they are hanging from the roof and not standing on the floor like the English ones. When she was practicing Aa (the first akshar of Hindi varnamala (alphabets) she said an english 3 (Three) and T are connected via a bridge. So I am all wide curious to know what else she will be commenting on her journey to learn Hindi and other languages like Marathi, Bengali. The good thing is that she is interested to learn Hindi now, as she notices that life around her needs lots of Hindi words, whether it is her favorite cartoon channels or her new friends from neighbors, school or her new storybooks her mum is buying now-a-days.

Another thing getting included in our lives are real sense/inclusion of Indian festivals. 'J's life had two layers of festivals till now, Birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, New year were on the foreground and Durga puja, Diwali, Bngali new year  were on the background. Autumn is the main festival season in India (mostly related with harvest and lights). Diwali (or Deepawali) is coming soon, a festival celebrated among Hindus with a great pleasure. It is a festival of lights. In some parts of India during Diwali, Laxmi (Goddess of Prosperity) is being worshiped while in other places Kali (Goddess of strength and power) is being worshiped. Some says that Lord Rama returned to his kingdom (Ayodhya) after defeating Ravana (from Ramayana) and the citizens of his kingdom welcomed him by decorating their houses with oil lamps. There might be several other folklore but these are the most popular ones. She is absorbing the colors and sounds related with this Indian festival with her soul. She is excited as Diwali is something she read about in books and have practiced very humbly by lighting few candles at home. The house cleaning, rangoli/alpana (the art of decorating the floor with symbols using rice flour and several colors, natural colors of turmeric, indigo etc in earlier times but now with synthetic colors) fire crackers, the new glittering dresses, the sweets, the wishes,  the excitement between the children, the participation of whole neighborhood for this festival is unknown to her, this she is enjoying on returning to India.

Amidst of all these I am feeling and nurturing these days specially as I think these first few days after returning back home will remain in different corner of my heart, as a bridge between the regular lives we lived outside India and the ones we are going to start living soon India as we will be more into the daily chores.


  1. Welcome to Pune :) I stay two buildings away! Do drop in when you find the time. NSA 87. Bring J along too!

  2. A very well written write up....I could feel your emotion from your write up....It is like talking to you over a cup of coffee. All the best for your future life and best wishes to your family.

  3. Nice to see you settling down. Amazed at J's creative interpretation of Hindi. Keep blogging!!!

  4. Fantastic writing Chandrima!!!!

    Keep it up.

  5. Hey Chandrima
    Came across your blog a roundabout way. I didnt know you wrote so well,and also that you've moved back to India!! Your observations in another post about how India has changed so tremendously in the last 10 years resonated with me...that's exactly how I feel too.
    We must catch up soon over email.
    Take care
    Shalinidi (from VB)

  6. Thank you all.
    @Shalini di it will be my pleasure to chat with you any time on mail, on IM or phone.