Friday, June 22, 2007

The Forever Nomad

This is not the typical 'first post' stuff but considering that it says so much about me and explains why I call myself 'the nomad'; it'll have to do! Works fine for me.
Here goes ...
This world has changed so much, hasn’t it? When I was a child people did not move about so much, they looked for stability, settling down. Now a days everyone is looking for a change, people look out for experiences, better jobs, more money or just … experiences. Its just ok to take a decision to pick up your life and go to another city, country and start afresh.

Which is why I got thinking and was a little surprised when this person asked this friend who was leaving for another country for work … do you have family there, do you know people, why did you want to move out?! Some people still live with that need for stability, the questions innocently implied that why would you want to uproot unless it’s a matter of life and death. And I thought, how can you not move? And it suddenly put me on the opposite end of the spectrum.
By some cosmic design and sometimes by choice I grew up and stayed in many places, enjoyed each one and has such fond memories of each one. Broke my heart each time we moved to leave friends, places behind but I think you learn much more easily when you are young. I learnt it early enough. And I also learnt that the ache in the heart is replaced quickly with the excitement of the new. You do not forget things you leave behind or don’t stop missing them but each place has a different life of its own and without knowing that you are giving in – you give in to that and become a part of its colossal rhythm. Explore new, meet new people, enjoy it, get scared, get lost, start finding your comfort corners (and fav eateries!) … find your bearings, give it some time and lo! You have a new life in a new place.

I never realized how much it became a part of me until I called myself a nomad in a job interview, I remember a few snippets from what I said … I grew up in so many places that I adapt easily. I have seen different kinds of lives and have taken each one of them inside me. I have come to know that surprises are the norm. I have life experiences. I am at ease in sleepy small town, a campus away from civilization, the fast growing cities, the metropolitan cities … I am a citizen of them all! And it’s a nice feeling … suddenly I realized that the world belonged to me because I belonged to it! I would never be an outsider or a stranger in any place!
(I must have been convincing because I got the job, and even with my nomadic schemas I’m still with the place after almost 4 years.)

When I talk about it some people look at me with dismay and even pity … to begin with I could never agree with people’s sense of superiority about having lived in a particular city all their lives and not having experienced anything else. I mean, I can understand them feeling attached and at home but feeling good about not knowing anything else? Sorry, something I can never understand. And this phenomenon is not just about places, its about everything … languages, music etc. … "I don’t know anything about Hindi music so I’m cool?" Sorry again. Basic research funda : if you test it in Solus you will know how good it is ON ITS OWN, only a comparative evaluation tells you if its better or worse than the other ones … so people, compare ONLY if you have experienced anything else. I digressed like I mostly do, uninformed, opinionated people are a touchy topic with me.

Picking up the thread … pity would be required if you lost everything you gained when you left a place, and I believe it is in one’s control to choose that. In any place, people are the one thing that make it what it is, and if you can take them with you … keep in touch and keep them in your life, it can be worthwhile. This has worked fine for me with all places except Delhi - but that is another post.

I think its an experience which changes something very basic in you, almost like impacting your DNA. Even when you are settled and comfortable in a place you get these pangs and heartaches when someone else gets the chance to go and live a different, new life. It’s a curse in a way that no place is perfect anymore, you have lived and soaked-in so many things that no one place can sate your desire for more, for all of it. So even if you decide to live and settle in one place the heart remains the forever nomad.

Its glorious and its painful, knowing you are one.

4 comments:

Serendipity said...

this is BRILLIANT. it makes me finally understand with the person you are - and the things you say.. did someone tell me that that person is not me :P its so funny,i totally get what your tyring to say. stability is one thing ive tried to cling to most of my life, and never got. maybe i dint move too often, but then again stability is a lot of things other than physical location, its in the people around you, the ones you love, the mental space which you want to occupy. kind of an unfinished comment this, maybe shall pick it up when my thoughts are fully in place.

Rohan said...

nice entry. your off to a rocking start :)

prakriti said...

hmm.. very very nice... i really liked the first one - forever nomad... :)

mommydearest said...

u rock !! that's so true .count me in about eing by ur thought 1