So, in cleaning up, I find this note in an old journal:
January 2nd, 2007
bye bye, Delhi, bye bye
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. (en route to mumbai, a little nervous). Looking down upon the city of my youth, I feel as though suddenly I am giving up the same youth, that I’m finally ready to be grown up. And then, battling with that is the very childish desire to burst into tears, to go back to being two feet high and knowing that my mum would always be around to look out for me.
I should be more excited, surely. This is the departure I’ve always dreamed of, the spreading of my wings at last, the blaze of glory into the sun. (icarus flew too near the sun and crash landed.) Across from my window I can see an orange pink sunset. I wish, I wish… what? That I could go home? Be the same person forever while other people say goodbye and hello and goodbye again? Nooooo, I think not. I know within my gut that this is the right thing to do—it FEELS right, clicking into my soul the way only good decisions do.
But already I am nervous, dying for a smoke, fidgety with all the gentle butterflies in my stomach eaten by a pit of writhing snakes.
What will it be like not to know anyone or any roads or have an opinion about things to do or not know the history I have taken for granted?
Goodbye, goodbye, my beautiful city.
And this comes at a fortuitous time, this discovery of an old note, written what seems like a lifetime ago. This week, even though I’ve been having fun, even though people are great, I’ve been plagued with homesickness. I close my eyes and dream of the streets I know, the people I like, I dream about my phone going off, people who want to see me, I dream about WTF and Den and Blue Frog (which I hear is opening up in Delhi soon.) Would I swap my Saturday night—watching a Sufi performance at the Old Fort, dinner at the Naga Kitchen, a house party—for a Saturday night “back home”? To quote my younger self: Noooo, I think not. But I am more than a little tormented, divided into two. On the one hand, I am having a great time, on the other, I miss being “familiar”. It took me four years in Bombay to be the person I am today, and I feel like right now I’m erasing history. Starting anew is a bit scary, isn’t it?
Today, I turned up Dave Mathews on my new speakers, and danced around the house till I was out of breath and panting. I was… happy. I realised I was carefree and content, in a way I haven’t been in a long time. But twilight is always the hardest time. Some people say 3 am is their time of melancholy, for me it’s just as afternoon drifts into the evening, the sky violet and orange, this is when I am saddest, this is when I long to hold on to things to reassure myself that I am still me. I haven’t reached the wise age of 28 and a half (okay, 28 and 11 months) without knowing some truths. And the biggest truth in this case is this: you can’t get anywhere if you’re dependent on other people. I shouldn’t need my friends to make me happy, hell, I shouldn’t even need a plan to make me happy. Happiness is what you make yourself. This is what I have come to Delhi to learn. (But, but, says the small voice inside my head, I’m so lonely. And I tell it to suck it up and deal. This is our life now, honey. This is what we have, and now we figure shit out.)
Luckily, I am someone who has experience with homesickness. It’s happened before, and I’m sure it’ll happen again. I just have to ride it out. In Bombay, it took me three months, more recently, in the UK, it took me a couple of weeks, and now, I’m lucky that I have old friends here, familiar faces and my family and things I care about. Just. Riding it out. That’s all.