Posted by maansi
“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
― Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
A short trip (what was truly a “flying visit”) back to Bombay/Mumbai a couple of weeks ago and it was like I had never left…
As soon as the plane lands, the familiar smell of Bombay rushes past all barriers towards you.
For whatever reason, there is a heavy layer of smoky haze across the city. And it stays that way for my entire stay (a whole two days!).
The noise, the crowds, the traffic, the dirt, the chaos…I had lived without all of this for six whole weeks!
These days no one stays unconnected for long, no matter where in the world they live. But it was certainly wonderful to re-connect with my friends there, in person.
But what did I really feel about going back?
Two thoughts were uppermost in my mind –
First, I am so very glad to be back in the US, to be home and living where I have spent most of my life. It took no time at all to get acclimated once I returned. In fact, I have a new appreciation for all that the country offers.
Second, I wouldn’t change my (almost) two years of living in Mumbai for anything! It was an incredible experience in “Incredible India” – yes, the good, bad and ugly, all together. The yin and the yang.
Some of you may not agree but I sincerely consider myself a lucky one – just thrilled to have had that adventure! It was eye-opening on so many fronts and will forever be an experience that is impossible to replicate.
Now, I am equally thrilled to start my new/old adventure – one where my connection to India is still strong, even if I’m not actually living there.
It’s actually kind of eerie the way things just fell into place…
“Thank you for coming into my life and giving me joy, thank you for loving me and receiving my love in return. Thank you for the memories I will cherish forever. But most of all, thank you for showing me that there will come a time when I can eventually let you go. ”
― Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle
Smoky Mumbai – By Satish Krishnamurthy [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons