I set a writing goal for my blog. I would write once a week,I would write something about something.. perfectly typed in and well thought about. But for a few weeks now I haven’t written anything. So somewhere last week I got this email from WordPress saying : ‘A lot has happened. Its time to write about it.’ I chuckled and thought ‘You don’t want to know..!!’ A LOT has happened! And I imagine WordPress saying ‘Yes! And Write (tell us) about it.’ I wonder why people like stories so much? 🙂
Now sitting on a stool in my kitchen. Writing from an app on my smartphone. I had such a memory going through my head while cooking I just couldn’t resist the urge to tell..
When I was about eight my parents decided we’d move to India. So we packed and sold our memories. Because we would never return. Me, my 5-year older sister and 1-year younger brother were exited. The butterflies of sitting in an aeroplane…or being on a boat! it was going to be an adventure. For my parents it was obeying Gods call to evangelize. And I can imagine now how scared they may have been..going into the unknown with 3 kids! Into a country they’d only heard of, communicating in a language they do not understand and living in a culture that was so different from home.
It took us a little more than six weeks to get from South America to India, because we stayed in the Netherlands for six weeks (another adventure). We went via French Guyana (by car/boat) to France (by plane) then to Amsterdam (by train). It was an adventure alright! Now to make a long year short..we learned the language,we went to school,had friends and birthdays and learned the culture. My mom wore sari’s and made chapati, we ate home made jam and sprinkles because in the heart of Bhopal such things were not available. Or maybe they were… We went to the market after 7 pm and learned to play and love cricket. It was such a whole different world it often had me looking into the mountains or as far as my eye could see and there was a longing for something called home.. something familiar…
After one year it all ended. We traveled on tourist visa and it needed to be extended. We had to leave the country, and planned to go just across the border into Nepal. Again we packed, we packed as if we were not coming back. And we didn’t. The visa was not extended. We tried again in New Dheli stayed there a while but then it was over. We were back home. It was 1999, I was nine. We were home which was not home anymore. Because it was another place and another time. There were friends who were not really friends anymore.. I felt strange..a stranger. There was a gap. I had to switch language and culture almost overnight. It took us just 3 days to get back home. In the days and even years after we tried to get back, but always without success. In the meantime we moved a few more times..my sister got married and then so did I.
Even though we didn’t get to life there, even tough it may seem as if we missed the call, it did leave the mark it was supposed to..It made us who we are today. That year in my life has changed the way I look at life. It has made me more accepting of other cultures, it has made me curious and left a longing to go back. I often think of everything we left behind..books, pictures, furniture, friends.. precious little things. That experience has left in me a desire to travel the world, a fear to be stuck in one place to long…and a love for change and food! Some spices bring me back to moments in India..some foods make the longing come back so strong.. I always try to make things the way I remember them.
Today sitting on this stool I think of how my future changed in just that year…