Saturday, July 24, 2010
by Abhijit Bora
It was a perfect and most enjoyable evening, courtesy Michael Dibari – the jovial, active, sporty gentleman and his family. Yes, the occasion was just a get together of the SUSI 2010 GANG at Michael’s neat and cozy home just a few minutes from OU's campus. It is a fine neighborhood with lot of space for kids to play and feel safe from speeding traffic. While Michael carried out the task of preparing ‘pizzas’ in several delicious varieties we offered our generous “helping hand” by finishing the dishes. And dish duty was quickly followed by several types of desserts.
We enjoyed the tree-lined courtyard under a big tree and the apple trees which Michael is so proud of, as he should be. One sad part of the evening was the feeling of homesickness I felt watching Michael and his young son. I have a kid at home who is about 5 and a half.
It is an interesting dilemma. In India it is the usual thing to stay with our parents even when we are mature and earning a living and even are married. Of course, with job-related relocation, and other problems, this tradition is fast giving way to nuclear families – only the parents and their kids without paternal grandparents. For me, in the last eight months I am living away from my parents because of job relocation.
My family – my kid and his mother – is in living in my parent’s house at present, while I am here. Whenever I call home, my child has only two things to say – I should come home soon and I must bring a children’s game-playing system with me.
Since we are in groups and everyday we are quite busy in various things, the nostalgic feeling of missing my family does not manage to attack much. If I had to live alone and do things myself without any set routine it would have been quite boring and difficult to sustain these 45 days.
I had two similar experiences in 2007 and 2008 and when I visited Nanyang Technological University and McGill University in Montreal respectively on academic fellowships. Staying alone in a big city far away from home sometimes creates difficulties.
It is compounded by the fact I am very fussy about western food. Somehow I find difficulty in surviving on hamburgers, boiled vegetable, soups, black coffee etc., BUT OF COURSE I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO COMPLAINTS ABOUT IT.
Well, these are some of the experiences of our life which make it so colorful and we keep chasing them despite all hardships and difficulties. These are small difficulties compared to the pearls of experience and exposure that we are getting for which I consider myself highly LUCKY.
In fact, when I told my wife about feeling homesick she teased me saying that this is not going to make any difference to my constant efforts to look for foreign academic fellowships anywhere in the world. And true enough, I have already set my eyes on two foreign academic fellowships for which I am eligible for 2011.
Well, we meet to part and part to meet somewhere sometime.
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