As I settle into my new home, I am reflecting on all the times I have moved. My first move was at the age of 10, from Gulbarga to Bangalore for better schooling opportunities. Although I enjoyed staying with my grandparents, I missed my family and longed for summer vacations to go back home. Over the next 7 years, in Bangalore, I built deep relationships with my grandparents, Maama, Maami, and cousins. By the time, I started to call Bangalore “home”, it was time for me to move to Surathkal for my undergraduate education.
The first few years at Surathkal were bitter-sweet; coping with the realities of mess food and common toilets that ran out of water, to getting used to more freedom and building new friendships. The last couple of years at Surathkal were arguably the best, with friends turning into family over shared experiences and Old Monk. By the time Surathkal was home, it was time to move again, back to Bangalore for a job. Predictably, by the time I could feel at home, it was time to move again, this time across countries to Los Angeles. Mamma, Kaaki, and Ammaayee helped pack my belongings, which by now also included a belan, chimta, and a tadka giver. Over the next two years, I didn’t realize how quickly I became close to my flatmates, sharing rooms, having dinner conversations, going on grocery runs, and hosting Friday night parties. I enjoyed staying at Westwood village, home to UCLA campus, and my new family. But, as expected, it was time to move again, this time to Seattle for a new job.
Every move has come with varied experiences; coping with different social situations, physical conditions, the emotional pain of separation. One thing has remained constant, a daily call to +91-93333-93333: ‘Hello Mamma, Ende Yennu?’.