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Nostalgia, Life and Growing Up

One of the greatest fears one can have is to be a stranger to someone or a place, that was once very close to you. Often in our lives, we cross paths with so many places and people, that for a period they become an integral part of our lives. While some remain with us forever, others are as good as strangers.


We often walk into places knowing it’s temporary, yet when we move out, pain engulfs us knowing that things will never be the same again.


One of the biggest fallacies in our 20s is that we often claim a space, area or city to be our own. As a university student, your life revolves around the campus and everything in and around the campus becomes the comfort zone that we reside in. Every second person is a familiar face, and your sense of belonging is rooted around them. But just in a matter of few years, everything changes, and the most known place of yours becomes as good as the new city which you moved in, completely unknown. (This of course is not true for everyone)


If you have the time, I recommend watching Ted Lasso on Apple TV, a drama series which will give you a very good perspective on life.


Apart from the football connection and other things, the show very subtly shows characters moving to unknown spaces, making it their home, getting used to everyone around and then as the time comes, they have to move on, leaving behind everything that they have built, and carrying with them a lifelong of memories.


In my life, I have always been part of things which are time bound. From education to tournaments that I have worked in, there was always an end date and from the start we knew when it would end. But despite that, we make homes, we make promises, and we make our own little space. And when the end date arrives, moving on hurts, at least a little bit, if one more.


In the spring of 2010, I moved to Delhi with absolutely no idea of what the city had to offer me. Moving out of the home comfort was a daunting thing and in the first few years, I constantly missed my hometown Guwahati. Silly Facebook memories often remind me of the posts I used to write about how cool Guwahati was and how I hated being in a new city amidst unknown people.


But in 2015, when I had to move to Mumbai from Delhi for further education, the rant was about how Delhi was the most convenient place that I have ever lived in. On my way to the airport, on the day I shifted, right when I crossed Hauz Khas metro station, I felt a feeling that I had never felt before. Guwahati might have been my hometown, but Delhi is the city where I learnt to live. And the pain of leaving the city was unbearable.

The cycle began again in Mumbai. Now there were posts about missing Delhi and comparing both cities. The nervous first few days of adjusting to a new city, completely unknown and all your loved ones being away triggered numerous social media posts comparing both cities. Very similar to how it happened earlier.  

But by the end of two years, when I was moving out of Mumbai, I again had the same feeling that I endured the time when I moved out of Delhi and Guwahati. Only this time, it was much stronger.

Mumbai and Delhi, both are cities that are familiar to me. There are campuses, shops, establishments and connections which once made a significant part of my life. But today, as I walk down the same road or into the same place, the feeling is that of an alien. There are new faces and no matter how hard I try, the dynamics won’t ever be like what it used to be before. 

And then, here comes the fear, the fear of a familiar place becoming a stranger. And the burden of nostalgia that often hits you now and then, making you sad and there is nothing that you can do about it. You knew things would get over, you knew that you have to move on, yet when it happens you can just lament about it for a few days and live on. Live, to make another comfort zone, make another set of things your own, another set of doings your rituals. Until one day, when you feel too comfortable, it all changes. 

And this my friend, is what life is, growing up is. 


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