Saturday, June 20, 2009

Moved and mostly settled in...

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.

13 comments:

Rohini said...

Happy birthday to KG and happy times in your new house :)

ranjani.sathish said...

Hi Noon
Welcome back to regular posting !! Lovely post as usual..this is what I missed..your perspectives on various things in life :-).

Belated b'day wishes to you and KG !!

Praveen said...

Happy Bday to KG :)

sole said...

Happy birthday to the little one! Glad you've settled in and glad you are back!

Aryan said...

Belated Happy birthday Kutti girl...very true about cycle of life...especially the belongings..the gollubombai part....
Could relate many things from this post..
Aryan's mom

Sumana said...

Hey noon, glad to see you back. Belated wishes to KG on her 2nd bday.

Poppins said...

I missed you Noon, I know I say it everytime!
Belated Happy Birthday to KG - terrible twos very soon huh?

Your beautiful post, requires a lot more thinking about..
Somehow I've never thought of it that way, I never think about growing old. Maybe I'm just in denial.

I kind of believe that we do what we can each day and the rest will take care of itself, if I am fated to live a lonely life in the end, I will.

I do totally agree about friendships though, some just reach their expiry date sooner.. But I rarely am nostalgic about good times, because there are so many more to be had.

noon said...

Rohini - thanks! And after having had this DVD "corporate" for a month - finally i got to watch it and I was thinking of you - since you work in the corporate world in Mumbai - was wondering how you found the movie - if it is the reality there - cut throat corporate world etc...

RS - Thanks! I wrote a comment in your blog.

Praveen - thanks thanks!

Sole - Thanks!!

Aryan - Yeah belongings - when I see my mom I wonder how she now doesn't care for any of "her" stuff...just a few random things she still cares about...

Sumana - thanks!!

Poppins - I think it's because you don't have aging parents/in-laws around you...you lost your father at a young age - not sure if that also made you more strong in facing death but in the last few years I have lost so many people that I think of it often now...
I like your way of thinking...so many more to be had...now I have come to accept - good while it lasted - about friendships...

Collection Of Stars said...

Belated birthday wishes to KG and hope you are all settled into your new house.
When we moved houses, I hated the actual move - very tiresome and messy. But I am really loving the new place much more than I had expected to. I do miss my old home but rarely.
Has your FIL joined you?

dipali said...

Happy birthday to the little one. Enjoy life in your new home.
Such truths you have written here- moving house does make one think about all the baggage one carries, and yet continue to accumulate.

Preethi said...

Happy bday to the little girl and wish you a load of wonderful memories in your new home! Now you have sent me off a trip down memory lane contemplating the circle of life!

mnamma said...

Belated. B'day wishes to KG Noonie! Somehow thinking about KG always brings to my mind her photo you posted a while back on your blog, with her toe in her mouth (The aalilai krishnar pose!) Cannot believe she is already 2 :) Went through the same emotions that you went through while packing our stuff in the USA. Here we have just startd purchasing furniture, knickknancks and I have vowed to avoid clutter as much as I possibly can :)Do post often Noonie.

sole said...

A tag if you'd like to take it up!