I'm known for taking my time getting to the point, as is the case in most of my blogs. Keeping that in mind, I'll start off by making a note of something my mum said to me back home, every time I had to say goodbye to a certain phase of my life. Funnily enough, it was a thought that occurred to me but I dared not voice.
"When you leave a place and go (after you've been in it for a while), the place seems to improve by leaps and bounds"
I am not sure whether that is a good thing or bad. I know it sounds like the place was just waiting for me to leave so it could make some progress. Like I was some kind of an obstruction to progress. However, there is another, deeper sense to it. I mean, if I had never been there, in the first place, the place would have continued to suck. Right?
In 10 years of my school life, we never had sports or outdoor activities of any kind. Does one session for the girls, on 'periods', in the seventh (or was it eighth) standard count? It was in a classroom, by the way, so we won't count that. Getting back to the point, we never had anything that I read in books. Except in the penultimate year, when we had an awesome Sports Day. It was huge, for kids who had never seen anything of that sort all their lives (i.e. me and my friends who had been in that school ever since our parents found out we could vaguely identify the alphabet). The final year was "serious studies", of course, so no such thing happened. Thereafter, they have had Sports Day every year. School group photographs, albums and, in time, even a school magazine. Bloody hell!
Oh, how can I forget they refused to let us sing or dance to movie songs back then? Now, it's no problem at all. Tut-tut.
After graduation, I took up a couple of jobs and quit one for more money. In those days, the company I quit was not quite known to be the best paymaster. I loved the organization with all my heart but I had to put bread on the table and I had to move on. Someone told me when I was leaving, "If they ask you why you are leaving, just say the magic word "money" and the exit interview will be over in a poof". It's a different story that I was really leaving for money, but that was the joke that went around in those days. I quit. The following year, the pay-scales were raised and ever since, the hikes have been good, so have the bonuses.
Let's not get superstitious here. It's got to be a coincidence. Of course!
Another job or two later, I moved inter-country. To experience a new culture, a new place and see what 'better standards of living meant' in comparison to living in a Third World Country. It has been fantastic until now and I cannot see why it cannot remain so. I was raving to my mum on Skype today, about the fabulous ride the husband and I did, with some friends, today and she tells me about new bike tracks being built back home. She watched it on TV, it's in the planning stage. No kidding! I wonder if the husband will want to stay here with me, now.
I hung up the conversation after a few more minutes of my share of home, family and familiar culture. Just as I took a last swig of beer and headed to bath, my husband shouts out to me, "Have you seen the new rupee symbol yet?" Holy Shit! Talk about modernization! Talk about progress!
So, are we going to use a symbol instead of the abbreviation "Rs." from now on? We are going to be riding on bike tracks and not on dangerous roads through horrific traffic? This is just one of those big leaps, the little bits and bites of improvements have been going on for a while now, haven't they? Garbage collection, fly-overs, park improvements... to name just a few. I am thrilled! I can't wait to see what they turn my beautiful country into. And it will all be because of me. Yeah? A-ha!
I remember a friend telling me over phone yesterday, that when I return home, I might complain about a lot of things, having gotten used to my new home. I wonder about that now. I had refused to acknowledge that (like all Indians who leave home do). I think I will be proved right this time. As always! How would I not love my country with such a huge variety of cultures and now fighting ferociously for it's place in line with the 'modern world'?
No matter what they say...