This one is for new beginnings.
(You might want to skip this if you don’t want to read about me. Thank you for coming here, though)
Before I tell you all about my journey, you should know that I am not the son of an army officer who has to wear uniforms and smell like good-byes. I am also not the son of a business tycoon who travels often and migrates with a suitcase filled with his family to wherever the market is looking good.
My father is just what he is supposed to be, a father. He does what he thinks will be best for his children. But every now and then, you can also see a small hint of a nomad if you look deep enough into his eyes. That’s how it began, by being a father and a nomad.
I was very young and in Delhi when my father got a wonderful job opportunity in Dubai and he had to leave us behind to go. Even worse, we had to shift to Chennai while he worked hard and became a warrior in the corporate world, fighting for peace and a beautiful house for his family to live in.
As a six-year-old in Chennai, I remember three things. Kinder joy, Jim Jam, and games. Of course, there’s the occasional ‘Remember that’ moment, but that’s usually just nostalgia and my mom talking. Eventually, we moved to Dubai.
I don’t remember much about the experience of my first flight except that I never even realized the plane took off because I was too busy eating. I spent almost five years over there, with Coke bottles, Indian food, and my best friends. But the obvious thing happened when I, personally, least expected it. My parents decided that it was time for the kids to learn what India was all about, and what better place to learn that than Delhi?
Because I was older, I don’t remember things about my time there that I wish I did. But then there is also the curse of being a human, which basically means I remember a few things that I don’t want to hold on to. My first heartbreak, first vodka shot, and my first poem have the same person and place in it. The same girl, and the same city. How can Delhi not be special for introducing me to love and Poetry? I called it home.
Three years into the best years of my life, we had to shift again. It is kind of obvious at this point because my family tends to do everything a bit too much, but this time was different. I knew what home felt like, I knew how a group of friends can be better than four walls and how disco lights can drive the darkness away.
For the first two years in Gujarat, I missed home. I wrote poetry on love and social issues but never on home because it was too damn hard. It got worse when distance took its toll on my friendships and I had fewer people to talk to as time went on. I developed commitment issues, and insecurities of my body and everything around it.
My life became a big coin flip and I had a very short span of time to call heads or tails, to call alive or existing. I don’t know what I chose, honestly.
One day, it all became okay. The nomad gene inside of me kicked in, and I promise you it is the best pain-killer/antibiotic ever. I still have atelophobia, and I still have insecurities but it’s easier to accept that now. I did not make best friends again, but I never stopped making memories.
I made my home but it wasn’t four walls or a group of friends, or two arms and a heartbeat. It was blurry memories, nostalgic smiles, and poetry. It took time but it was worth it. Stay strong.
Have a great year starting from whenever you read this.