July, 1987. I was 16. I was leaving home. The only home I had known till then. A small house in Raurkela. A small town in Eastern India, whose name literally means ‘home’.
I was moving to a wonderful school in a wonderful city, Kolkata, while my parents were moving to a far-from-great town, with far-from-great schools. To this day, I can feel, so clearly, in my throat – a dryness and constriction, and in my eyes – some paralyzed tears, and a diminishing vision.
e diminishing car, that had my father at the wheel, and my mother, who leaned out and kept a smiling front, “Bhalo theyko. Bhalo korey kheyeyo (Be well. Eat well.)”
Despite starting a promising new curriculum, in one of the nation’s finest schools of my choice, my world fell apart. With my family split between four cities, there would never again be a time in my life when we would share the same space as home. Continue reading