Thursday, July 29, 2010

Home - not so sweet!

So, I finally did two months ago. And by that, I mean putting in my papers and taking my sabbatical from my fast, hectic, crazy world of work. At that time the notion of home was warm, friendly, familiar. It was so nostalgic that I was really excited to come home and spend time with my family and get to know my culture better. But reality is a PMSing amazonian bitch.

Don't get me wrong. I love my family but you know how families function and dysfunction. Trying to fit in after being away for a long time is not so easy. Trying to find a flow can have many awkward moments and misunderstandings. You see, I have been in boarding since I was seven years old. After 11 years of boarding school, I went directly to college and straight into another hostel. Then I did PG Diploma and stayed in yet another hostel. Then I started to work and lived on my own for nearly 3 years before sharing an apartment with two other friends. So, for my 19 years of existence, I have learned and adapted to an independent lifestyle where "I" becomes a necessity. A survival technique. And when "I" meets the "We", things can pretty intense. I thought I was prepared for the "culture shock", but I clearly was not. And is not too.

I know parents love us and want the best for us but sometimes they also need to let go. I don't mind listening and trying to learn new things. There is always room for improvement and I know that I have a lot of space to spare, but they also need to know what they can store in that space. Everything and anything can't come in. Things need to be processed. I know that I am living in their house and there are house rules to follow like in any other houses. But they also need to learn how to adjust. I am trying to adjust to a new and healthier lifestyle, like waking up at 6:00am, but they also need to give my body's internal clock time to adjust. I need time to adjust. A few days is not enough to adapt to a whole new and different world.

In Delhi, I would sleep around 2:00 am and wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 am. Because a lot of times, my work schedule dictated that kind of routine. It's not healthy but to also force my body to wake up with only four hours of sleep is not healthy too. The other day I woke up at 7:00 am. I thought that was pretty good but everyone was already awake by 6:00am. Plus it did not help that there were some morning guests who had come to meet my parents. So, I got scolded for my "bad habits" of sleeping in late and then that went on to other topics like "not knowing your culture", "not knowing how to cook", etc.

I can clean. Can cook. But I am not the domestic kind who is happy to be busy with household chores the whole day. I need to do something else. Something more. And that is the hardest thing that I am facing right now. Especially when you are idle the whole day and you are used to a lifestyle where you are always churning out ideas and racing to meet deadlines. You are always on the move - mentally and physically. So, at the end of the day I am not tired, but rather restless. Wanting to do something. Create something. Anything.

I know I am sounding like an immature brat. A shrew. A workaholic with withdrawal symptoms. A self-centered person. I know I have gone all over the place with my ranting but at the end, I still love my family and I don't regret coming home at the end of the day (or so I keeping tell myself or else I might kill myself). Home is not romantic. It's chaotic. Frustrating. Suffocating. Adjusting. Giving a lot. It's really tough. But it's home and you know know what they say, there's no place like "home".


Puja Upadhyay said...

its just that you are not doing anything...being used to working all day and then not doing anything is difficult. you will get over it. try writing...shoot a documentary, shoot some different pictures, something tp keep you occupied.
and call sent so many numbers i am still confused which one to use. :D

destinednomad said...

tribal families rock! coz then you also have the whole village as your family, and ow the whole community too... it can be pretty demanding!!!

Me said...

@Puja: Thanks a lot for your encouragement. Like always. It's not really the lack of not having nothing to do but rather doing things that is not your cup of tea. It's more about learning how to do things for others before doing your own things. So, when you get used to an independent lifestyle and then you have to shift gears to another way of living is hard but it's all part of a learning process.

@Nomad: I know what you are saying. Families, especially tribal ones, are awesome and very demanding. I am really learning about my own nuclear family along with my clan, village and community. It can get quite exhausting but at the end it's kinda fun!

Anonymous said...

14 years of being away from home so far and I understand you perfectly. I go home every holiday and I cannot settle until its time to leave. By then i am filled with mixed emotions: Happy and Sad.
Living in the city, we begin to function in our own way. We feel independent so going home feels like being bound. I think we're never going to get used to going back and settling at home. =) .. trying to attune with our culture sounds easy to do but I think that's the toughest thing esp. being away since we were so small.
I hope you can do it!