‘Foreign’ is the word referring to a total unknown. When its associated with the word ‘country’ it signified, at least for me, a total change of environment around me, the culture, the lifestyle, the people, even the weather. And it’s probably fair to say my first foreign experience was truly foreign, it included almost nothing I had experienced before.
Those experiences, some very intense, some less intense (can’t go lower than that :)), obviously, brought some radical changes in the way I looked at life. And when I was settling down, very happily so, with those changes, another worry started gripping me. Have I changed totally? Have I lost the real me? Have I lost the girl?
But what I realized was, things were not changing and are not changing, they are adding, multiplying, my culture is growing, my views expanding, my appreciation about the world increasing. With all this happening, I am still the girl from the ‘little’ city of Nagpur. I still enjoy playing in sand on the construction sites, I still enjoy driving my ‘Scooty’ and ride with friends in torrential rains and getting drenched. I still love to eat ‘bhutta’ in those rains. I still like to talk to my best friend KT for hours on the phone discussing about almost anything and everything in the world. I still love to trouble my dad by playing all sorts of pranks. I still like to sleep in my moms lap for no good reason. I still dance with my brother on random baraat songs. I still long for Diwali to come so that I can put Rangoli on my door step. I still adore the great moments I have had in the school. I still feel sad when after 10 days of incessant celebration Ganapati murti is to be immersed…..
Having said that, there are tonnes of memories still in making with the greatest addition to my life with a life partner and heaps to come. These memories are going to add, not overlap the earlier once. The fear that something will be lost to get something new has gone. These years have shown me the outer world that I was unaware existed. It showed me good and bad but largely only made me appreciate this life so much more. Embracing the new life, new places, new cultures, I have my strong roots which keep me grounded and guide me in case of ambiguity!!