Have you ever felt that you were born in a wrong place, at the wrong time? Perhaps your destiny is bound by something unfathomable, but you have always felt that this wasn’t it?

Well, I have. I don’t really know how or why, but I have always felt like a misfit here. India is my home country, they say. India is where you were destined to live, they say.

But, how about the fact that India still doesn’t feel like the home it is supposed to be?

Back in my expat days, I was as happy as I could be with all the tensions of getting good grades and the pressure of getting into a good college would allow me to be. I was surrounded by a close cocoon of friends and webs of acquaintances. I always knew someone everywhere and I knew whom to turn to when I wanted help. I had a group of close friends with whom I could share nearly everything and just being around whom made me happy. Even though we used to insult each other constantly, it was all light-hearted humour. Even though we used to fight, it was all resolved within a few minutes. And when it mattered most, there was always someone who would stand up for you and support you through thick and thin.

Then, we graduated from high school and each went to a different place to study.

I was uprooted from the place I called home for nearly 14 years and thrust into alien surroundings, where I knew no one. I thought that because the people there are ethnically similar to me, they would all be like me and that I would fit in there like a jigsaw puzzle. But, boy, I’ve never been more wrong! My thought process, ideas and beliefs were totally different and I didn’t seem to have a common ground with any one of them. Things I said were taken to be offensive.

I thought that back in my hometown, I would have cousins, at the very least. But the year I returned, two of them left the place, one became a mother and automatically looked down on me like I was a baby not yet conscious enough to fully comprehend the world. The few people I trusted in India betrayed my trust.

I was a misfit everywhere, in all senses of the word.The happy person with a lot of friends was replaced by a brooding, moody stranger. I practically stopped talking to people. So much so that I believe that the fluency of my speech has actually reduced. I stopped writing, something which gave me an inexpressible amount of joy.

After an entire year of miserable life, I decided that this was not the life I envisioned for me. I need something more, something better. I have taken to reading a lot of books and some of them have given me ideas. I have taken up an online course on a subject that I am actually interested in. I started learning a new language. I have started writing again, slowly, if not a lot. I took some time out. I went on a vacation to a place that made me happy.

Slowly, but surely, I want to bring my life back on track. I want to pick up the pieces of my dream and stick them back together. I want to be the one I wanted to be, the one that I really hope to be. Someday.

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