February 12, 2010.
Dear Amma & Daddy,
There’s exactly a month left – a month left for me to come back home. One month to be close with family, one month to be with you all whenever I want to. One month left for me to unpack finally. I’m looking forward to wake up and see your faces. I’m looking forward to ignore the word ‘roommates.’ I’m looking forward to living out of a cupboard and not a suitcase. I’m looking forward to eating meals with family.
I remember crying the day you dropped me off for the first time in my classroom in Nazareth. Daddy wasn’t there. He was in London. I remember holding Amma’s saree and pleading for you not to leave me. I could never understand how you could do that to me. That was the first time I left home. That was the first boarding school I went to. I knew I would be allowed to go back home after a month. I made up my mind to cry a lot and win my case and never come back to boarding school again. I failed my own plan. That was the first/last time I cried about being home sick. Now I have a month left to come back to you and I find it funny to say – I’m already homesick.
I remember leaving from Coimbatore to Hyderabad to join Google and start my career. Again, daddy wasn’t there. I had built a lot of dreams in me. I was waiting for the taste of the independent life with a job. I started off with work. Made friends, easily. It comes to me naturally my peers say. I think so too. It has been 2.8 yrs now. I started earning, I was happy & proud. I felt settled and safe. I was comfortable where I was.
When I started off in Hyderabad, I told myself – ‘Pragi, do not fall in love with this place.’ I tried hard not to. But I did. Like how I did with Ooty, Kallar & Chennai. I fell in love with everything about Hyderabad. I felt my friends from college were going far away initially. But as they all got married one by one, I learnt to let go. Like how I did with friends from every school I grew up in. It’s beautifully disturbing that this place has also found a place in my heart. I know, haha!
Over these years, I have had great memories. Memories to learn from, memories to laugh at and memories to cherish. Coming to Hyderabad broke the protected shell I was in so long. No nannies around, no wardens and no one you knew at all here. I faced this place alone – right from the time I landed here for the first time and called out for the driver holding a placard with my named on it. If I have to say what I learnt here – I would say money, people and cooking.
I learnt money alright! Initially, I didn’t know how to spend it. When I did, I learnt how to save it. I don’t know how much I have saved so far – but I know that every Diwali you wore what I bought for you. It made me happy in a way. I learnt people. We all learn people every day. I did too. And last, I cooked. I cooked for all this time. That makes the whole family proud I’m sure.
Of these years, my happiest moment was seeing Sai go off to college. That was the day I began feeling what you both would have felt when you sent me and Sai to boarding school. It was like sending a child to the army – or even worse. I knew he was capable of managing himself – but I didn’t want to agree with that. I wanted to fuss over him like we all do always. I’m happy for him now. It’s overwhelming to see him face the world in his own way.
I step out of this career path and step into family. I’m not scared. Or maybe, I’m. Whatever, I feel I know you will be there to make it easier for me. I haven’t learnt the subject family much before – I’m going to from now. I hope it’s as tough as so many years have been, or my ride won’t be bumpy enough for me to enjoy it.
I only look forward to waking up and walking Sudoku, cleaning the car, overhearing gossip over tea, hiding vegetables over lunch, running up and down stairs for nothing, fixing internet connections, calling Vodafone customer care for every silly reason, getting Granma’s glasses to watch tv, waiting till midnight to lock the gates and being a member in the house once again.
If you are wondering where I got my letter-writing skills from – remember the day you taught me to write our home address before I left to boarding school? I never stopped writing after that. I won’t ever. Looking forward to a hot summery start all over
Love you both!
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