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A place to settle...

“How long have you been here?” This is a common introductory question that people ask. My response has typically been “a few years” which leads to a surprised “you seem to be pretty settled” comment often followed by an advice or a question like“X is a wonderful place to stay, my cousin loves it” or “My friend had a big problem in Y city, didn’t you face this issue?” The conversation typically ends with “do you plan to settle here forever?”
Is there a place to settle forever? Is there one place that addresses our changing priorities over time? Why do people from the same background experience the same place differently?
As a small kid when my parents decided to move from a big city in eastern India to a smaller one in the northern part of the country, I was excited. What made a difference to me then was that there would be a lot of cousins and we would all go the same school. For those teenage years there couldn’t have been a better place to settle in. We had relatives around, an ance…

She'll always be a special one...

She came into our lives just when I was about to start college. I came to know right before boarding the train to Delhi for a college entrance exam. I was ecstatic. She would probably be like a younger sibling. It was just that I was going away for studies and would not get to spend time with her. That was the catch. Since she was the only one at home with my parents, she soon assumed that they were exclusively for her. Everyone else was just a guest in her scheme of things till my brother moved back in. That was perhaps her first insight into having to share with someone. I was still away and for the first few years she at times gave me signals that she didn’t like me around my parents too much! The memory of those expressions still makes me smile. Its only when she moved to Delhi with them that she began to accept me as a part of “her“family.
She was extremely intelligent, sophisticated and quite amusing. 10 p.m was bed time for her though like a responsible family member she would…

I wonder what you do...

“I wonder what do you do on weekends?” This is probably the most common question I have faced after “Which movies did you see recently?” Others that follow are: “Don’t you get bored living on your own; do you have a big gang of friends to hang around with?” Of course the assumption here is that single people living on their own really have all the time in the world and therefore the question around how can we possibly find something meaningful to do with ourselves.
It’s not just about asking these questions, single people can also be taken for granted in line with the same assumption. Last moment invitations like -“We are having a get together tomorrow- you have to come, anyways what would you be doing?”Of course I could, just that it is a Wednesday, right in the middle of a hectic week and I need some heads up to plan my evening calls so that I can make it to your place. And then there are last minute cancellations- “hey, we had planned to meet since last week, but something else impo…