Something strange has happened – it’s vaguely shocking and at the same time it’s making me smile too. Sitting here wondering - does one swallow a challenge unmake? Can one can aim to be a survivor if…one has kind of swallowed up a day and a letter? Because that’s what’s happened here – I have somehow gone from R to T without pause or stumble. I mean, this could be serious. I've forgotten my alphabetical order, no kidding - either the pandemic has unhinged me or…
And I had such sumptuous plans for S too, given that it is one of the most frequently used letters. From Snell's Law to sericulture, from Shakespeare to spectroscopy, from schools to schooners - there are a gazillion subjects to talk about. At first I thought okay, let's just scribble something for the S post and sneak it in backdated somehow. Then I thought - nah, it is what it is. Embrace the error and be sincere. Honesty is the best and the easiest policy. Stay calm and carry on.
The packers are scheduled to come in on Saturday, that is later today, I guess that adds to the general confusion and shambolic state of brain and mind as well. Every relocation is the same and also unique in its own way, but this one's a little unusual. This is the relocation to end all relocations, we're headed back to India this time. After twenty five years in the Middle East. India has changed, so have I changed since ye olde motherland and I lived together at close quarters for any significant length of time. Then there is the pandemic which throws its very own spanner into the works - I'll probably land up at the peak of the second, more deadly surge. Not so super timing. That too adds another layer of uncertainty.
Underlying the whole move is the reason for it - which is no more valid. I am going back to an unoccupied, empty parental home. Best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley. Well, this one of mine has gang spectacularly agley. I don't know how to define the emotions - don't quite know which words to pin where. Sadness, melancholy, regret, apprehension - none of them fit properly.
I have moved house many times - across cities, across countries, across continents. I've lived a surface-rooted life all my years, the average stint in any one home has been a little over two years. So I detach easy from places and houses once the decision is made. An easy, uncomplicated transplant. Not this time though. Not one of my protocols feels like it is working. But Och! I backward cast my e'e on prospects drear/An' forward tho' I canna see, I guess an' fear. I thought I knew exactly how to handle relocations, how and what to feel and what to do about them. But this time I don't. This time it feels different, the entire template, the process, its demands on me. It feels like...yeah, you know what? - exactly as if a letter has been strangely dropped out of the alphabet, a frequently used consonant has suddenly gone missing, and no-one knows quite how to find it and insert it back in its correct position. It's unprecedented. And somewhat unsettling.