A new home.
After 14 years of living in the same place, with the same people, and the same routine, I was suddenly yanked out of the familiar routine to all that was full of the unexpected. I was happy where I was before; I had great friends, amazing teachers and lots of fun. I had a good time despite the repetition.
This move was not really an optional thing, I had to go. I had to move and leave everything I knew behind. It seemed so unfair that I had to go just because my parents wanted to. Though it was me who was moving, no one asked about what I wanted. Of course, my parents did ask me if I was fine with the shift to a place half-way across the country — all the way from Hyderabad to Pune — but we all knew that I had no real say in the matter. I was in a boarding school, so why should it matter to me?
Yet it did matter, it mattered so much.
Hyderabad was home, I spoke the language, I knew the city like the back of my hand, and I loved it. I loved the food, the culture, the mix of Islamic and South Indian rituals. It was all so comforting. I knew the way to the mall and the way to Golconda Fort. I knew every nook and corner of Hyderabad, of home.
Hyderabad was, and still is a great city but it took me a while to realize that it was not the only city where I could have had fun.
I was so caught up missing Hyderabad, I forgot to enjoy this new opportunity. A chance to explore a new city. After a few weeks, when I finally looked up from my melancholic state and observed my surroundings, I came to enjoy living in Pune. Not as much as home but I liked it all the same. I liked living in the outskirts of the city, where it was quiet. I liked the vada pav stall close to my house in Baner. I liked the little cafés around my house and the way the city weirdly small yet had everything you could ever want. I liked it and I was shocked that I did.
“Home” did not have to be in just one place. Hyderabad and Pune are home and so is Woodstock.
Finally, after a year of deliberating, I realized that I have three homes, and I am sure I will have many more.
Nupur Agarwal is the Arts and Entertainment Editor
Edited by Victoria Lee