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Conference Call

It’s been a couple of days since parents landed here.

A jetlagged Appa can be seen walking around the house like a zombie at times, and an over enthusiastic Amma can be found clitter-clattering around the kitchen most of the times. To avoid being disturbed, I lock myself in the study as I work from home and step out only to take little breaks every now and then.

This afternoon, at the stroke of lunch hour, I go down to get some food and promptly come back to the study with a bowl of rice. I turn on some show on Netflix on my phone and mindlessly start to devour what’s in my hands. Within seconds, I hear footsteps outside the door and Appa makes an appearance.

Even before I make eye contact with him, even before I can utter a word, even before I have a chance to pick up my phone and put the show on pause, he profusely apologizes for walking in on me during what he thinks is an official conference call, and walks out feeling utterly guilty for disturbing me.

You know what’s funny? – what he heard and assumed to be a “conference call” was nothing but a steamy / extremely passionate moment between two people in the episode.

“Conference call” it is then; the not-so-poetic but supremely funny metaphor will never fail to elicit laughter bouts in our household for eons.

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My Happy Place

Our library.

Yes, library! All these years it was bookshelves scattered all over the place with just a dream of having a dedicated space for a library. And now, we finally have one – one small room with wall to wall bookshelves to hold the woven pages that we’ve collected and cherished over the years.

While we were looking for a place to move into as we relocated to Boston, we walked through house after house, rejecting most of them because of not feeling a sense of home while there, among other factors. And this particular house was no exception; there were quite a few reasons to disregard the positives and keep on looking. But all that changed as we walked into that one room. As soon as our eyes caught a glimpse of what it comprised and what it could potentially be, we knew this was home.

A home with a library!

I make it a point to spend some time in there every day. It’s time devoted to practicing meditation of sorts… I sit there, calm and quiet, not being bothered by what happened or what is to come; I sit there as if time has stopped to let me take advantage of the beauty in the stillness and silence that surrounds; I sit there, lost in a million spattered thoughts, yet at the same time with a clear mind, one that’s free of it all… It’s time devoted to experiencing the poetic depth of solitude.

It’s my time in my happy place.

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Moved back Home

Back in 2012 when the topic of moving out of the city, our home – a place that both K and I were extremely fond of – came about, the decision was kind of already made for us. There were several factors to consider, both positive and negative, but out of all those the main reason to leave was the visa situation. K’s job was moving and there was no way he could elect to stay back. Had he done that, he would’ve lost his job and by inference his work visa. So, like I said, the outcome was pretty clear even before we could sit down and discuss in length – we had to move.

And move we did.

We welcomed the new phase of life with open hearts, albeit a little reluctant in the beginning. We had our close friends just a stone’s throw away. We spent countless days and nights with them sharing meals, playing board games, discussing all sorts of topics under the sun, traveling together – all that fun stuff. We bought a home big enough to host a dozen people; so we sponsored visas, invited our family from India and had a blast when during their visit. We celebrated Holi and Diwali one of the years with a large gathering of friends.

All in all, things were going fine, but there was always that nagging feeling somewhere hiding deep in the shadows of our minds about how everything could be even better. And every now and then we kept revisiting the idea of someday returning to the one place where both of us felt at Home. Visa situation had changed, and slowly, but surely, the light at the end of the tunnel got brighter and brighter.

Late in 2014, K came home one evening with the news that there might a prospect of moving to a new position within the company and it would require transferring to exactly where we wanted to be. Without any second thoughts both of us agreed that it would be a great break. He liked the new job role, and both of us fancied what it brought with it in terms of relocation. He pursued it rigorously while we waited patiently for it to finally take shape.

We spent hours together deliberating whether it made sense to leave behind all that we’d built together in the past three years. We wrote down pros and cons, debating whether one evidently won over the other. The key point that made us sway from side to side was the enormous financial hit that we had to take with the move (the cost of living being the main culprit; it would be much higher here, but neither of us would got any sort of increment to compensate for that. Bummer, huh?). In the end, though, all things considered, we unequivocally decided that we had to do what our hearts desired without bringing money into the equation. Money might come and go, but opportunity like this might not knock on our doors again. Hence, the fact that we would both be immensely happier in every which way if we shifted made our decision for us.

Consequently, almost a year later, in October of 2015, we found ourselves back in Boston. And there has been looking back ever since.

This city has always been (and will forever be) Home to me. And now that I’m back here, I have a feeling I’m going to embrace it closer to my heart than ever, never wanting to even consider the thought of moving elsewhere.

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