On being rootless

Recently, a friend remarked about the lack of opportunities to work in your hometown if you are from a small town. This led me to think about rootless people like me, who can never give a simple answer to the question "So where are you from?" From early childhood, we have to learn to make new friends, learn names of new streets, get accustomed to new neighbourhoods because we find ourselves in a different city every couple of years. We come to realise that, after a lot of fond farewells and promises of "writing every week", old friendships usually fizzle off in a few months and new friends are made. Does this seem a little sad to those of you who have lived their entire lives in the same city? Surprisingly, it's not.

With the nervousness of fitting into a new set of friends in a new school comes the freedom to re-invent yourself everytime you are in a new place where no one knows you. Whether it is a new hairstyle you were not really confident about, or a new attitude on life, if no one knows you where you are going to, they will accept these new things as part of you. There is the thrill of discovering new ice-cream parlors and bookstores, finding new chaat thelas and of even learning a new language.

As you move from city to city, you gather a whole store of stories and anecdotes to entertain at parties and put in place a whole network of friends and acquaintances. Nothing equals the pleasure of meeting after fifteen years someone who was your "best friend" in eight grade!

4 comments:

TaRuN said...

The World is My Oyster? :)

Tanushree said...

"Which I with sword will open."
All this talk about shellfish and swords is making me nervous!

Mohit said...

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page"

And what better way than actually living at new places! New home, new neighbours, new friends, infinite explorations to find that perfect meal... its endless.

Tanushree said...

Ooh, I have such brainy friends who know all these cool quotes from Shakespeare and St. Augustine!