With the exception of a one week trip that I took back to India for my cousin’s wedding, I haven’t really had much interaction with people back home, and lately I find myself missing my old life. Though I surprised I lasted this long. I remember when I used to come to London on vacation, to visit my cousins, it would be 2-3 weeks before I started missing my daily routines.
That’s not to say that I’m not unbelievably grateful for all the wonderful things that have come my way since I’ve been here – the opportunities to meet some brilliant people, making cherished friends who feel like they’ve been in my life forever (even though its only been some 4 months!) and of course drowning myself in the culture and recently the festive season.
But say what you will for the fast pace and rich diversity of London, I guess I’m just a Delhi boy at heart. I miss my old watering holes, arguing with friends over where we’re going for a fun night out (arguing mostly because we’re all broke or close to), catching a movie in the middle of the day or night (comparatively speaking I could get a VIP ticket in Delhi for the cost of a normal one at Odeon in London), and most importantly (I cannot stress this enough) my car. God how I miss my car. Jumping in and driving over to chill at my friend Akshay’s place whenever I felt like it. Being across the city in under 20-25 minutes. Blasting music and singing along at the top of my lungs on the drive home at 1 AM. Sigh.
I also terribly miss my family. I wouldn’t say I’m unbelievably close to my siblings or parents, but I miss the dynamic of being at home, surrounded by people who have known me my whole life (and love me regardless of that). We’re quite blessed in this day and age – If we want to communicate with someone on the other side of the globe we have Skype or dozens of other apps like it. We’re lucky we don’t have to wait by land lines for calls that will come in on certain windows and cost an arm and a leg. We don’t have to wait weeks for a letter. But its still not the same as popping into my mom’s room and saying “What’s up?” and then spending the next half hour there just playing with one the half a dozen animals that make my parents’ room their own; or plopping down on my brother’s barcalounger and watching some inane movie I’ve probably watched 3 or 4 times already.
I find myself torn between making plans of getting a job here and my dreams of finally one-upping my Dad by becoming a Barrister, and my longing to go back to the places and faces that I love. This is a question many of you may be struggling with yourselves. For some the decision may be made for them – by parents, by promising opportunities waiting back home or lack there of in the UK, by significant others or families awaiting return – but for many, like me, its not so cut and dry.
Even though I do feel at home in London, I still don’t feel like it IS home. I suppose I’m a bit of a Salmon (metaphorically of course – Im not saying I smell like a fish or anything!) I longed to live and study abroad, I’ve come here to meet new people have new experiences and grow, and though I’m not sure how much longer this journey will go on – 1 year? 2 years? 5? – In my heart I know that some day, I will return home.. (Play cheesy Bryan Adams song here)