Subterranean Homesick Blues

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And so concludes my first 6 months living in the east. My second visit to Kolkata was drawing to a close, I had learnt to program, embraced the hair loss (by employing new hairstyles), and made new friends in and outside of work. I’d spent weekends racing through the city on motorbikes and spent nights sharing a bed with pregnant friends and their grandmothers (it is believed to be good luck for pregnant women to share the bed with the oldest family member).

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Time has past so quickly and it feels like I’ve only just begun my life out here, yet during the last few weeks pangs of homesickness have started to creep in. It is my first time experiencing these feelings, despite having lived abroad before, it has never been for so long in a country so different from my own… and there is still a long time to go (another 1.5 years)! These feelings usually strike when something reminds me of home, such a photo of a snow scene in a sleepy german town, or on the rare occasion when instead of the constant jingle of hindi music (which becomes a soundtrack to life out here), my ears are shocked to recognise a coldplay tune from some progressive new cafe, and subconsciously my mind reminisces about home, friends, faces and times shared. Distance also seemed to be taking it’s toll on my relationship which was getting me down… but enough nostalgia, there is still so much left to enjoy and explore…

And so I returned to Kanpur for few days, to a layer of dust, cobwebs, frazzled cockroaches, and the task of trying to survive in 40 degree heat without the luxury of air conditioning. But luckily I only had a few nights of rolling around in my sweat drenched sheets before a train whisked a group of us off to seek solace in the Kashmiri hills (against the advice of the foreign office!).

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