We moved houses on Sunday, May.31.09. The kind of stuff that you only want to think back on and not want to go through again in the near future. Painful as it is, somehow I find moves very refreshing once I finish moving and settling in. There is something fundamentally different when you actually live in a different house and it feels as if there is something to look forward to in getting used to the new place, new neighborhood etc. I went through the usual feeling of "I wish I didn't have to move from a place that I am so used to now". I had that fear or discomfort of the unknown...even in something as simple as going for a walk and not knowing who you will see or feeling unfamiliar even with the names of the streets. It is June 20 now and I can't believe it has already been twenty days since we moved in. I feel happy to be here more than I thought I would be.
In a strange way, I went through (as most people probably do during moves) a introspective experience during the process of packing and unpacking. A feeling of suffocation and disgust at the amount of things we accumulate...wanting to just dump everything and live in such a way that I would know exactly what we have in every box and not have anything that I don't use every day. But after we finished moving to the new place and I started unpacking, it was a warm feeling of contentment in putting things in place and turning the bare rooms into a home. Putting up pictures, little paintings by KB, magnets from places we have been to...The opposing feelings that you go through in the process of opening boxes you had not looked at in years...like when I see old letters and wonder why I save them when in fact I only look at them during moves. But it is those few minutes when you discover unexpected things that you go through the nostalgia of days gone by...it feels good. And yet I wish I could throw some of those away because it feels like a life lived in some other birth. Friends who I have lost touch with, friends who I only want to remember fondly but don't want to really get in touch with - because deep down I feel we have drifted in our paths in life...it brings with it a certain sadness as well.
An example. I opened a wedding invitation from an old friend from the time I was working. I was staying in a dorm room at that time and I just bumped into him at the lounge when I went in to check out the piano there. He was an American who happened to play a hindi song on the violin at that time. And that's how we got talking. We became very good friends. Now we have completely lost touch for no real reason. He is now a successful physician, married (he used to talk about his dates with her when they first got to know each other) with two kids, and I am a sahm. We have shared so much as friends and yet I really don't feel like it would mean much to even get back in touch. We have laughed so much and discussed so much about different topics - it brings back such good memories. It's all Maya - B likes to tease me when I worry about some things. In some ways looking at some of these old letters from friends somehow made me think of that - Maya. It all seems so ephemeral and fleeting. However, there is the slow reality to contend with. Duties to be performed no matter how fleeting everything is in the big picture. I look at my aging mother now and I think to myself that this is who raised me and toiled with me when I refused to eat, who trained me to eat, sleep, go to school. Now this is her reality - a life without my father, her pace slowing down and her belongings that can fit into suitcases while she travels around to spend time with each of us. She too lived in a large home with a million things - large Godrej bureau, furniture, bedding, couches, kitchen utensils, jewellery, car, books, "golu" bommais, and million other things that made up her home. The cycle of life. As I build our home, even if it is a rental home, it is still a wonderful feeling to have a place to call home. But I am afraid sometimes to even pause on that thought...what if...we are all so dependent on each other that without the four of us there is no home now. I immediately pray for every one to be healthy and safe. A friend recently lost her brother in a swimming accident and soon after that I read this news. As I hear my friend talk about how she saw her brother physically healthy just a few minutes before he drowned and passed away, I wonder how one ever comes to terms with something like that. My heart feels full in the quietness of the night as I hear the soft music playing in our room where B and the kids are asleep...and yet I realize I am merely going through the motions of life that my mother too went through even if not in exactly the same ways and my children will soon grow up and the cycle of life will continue and one has to be ready for its idiosyncrasies and one never knows what life will throw at you at any point...
That was a long "stream of consciousness" kind of post! If you manage to get to the end of this post, do let me know (or better still write a post about it) about your experiences and feelings while moving.
BTW - KG turned two on June 17, we had a little cake thing for her at home. Plan to have a party for her along with KB's in August. Will post a couple of pics later.