It is that time once again. I wonder what I must have been in my previous birth! A gypsy from Spain, maybe? Or perhaps a daughter of the gadi lohars the tribe of wandering blacksmiths; maybe I had been a lambadi from Andhra. Whatever I might have been, I am a confirmed nomad in this birth, not putting roots anywhere, unable to settle down in one place.
But all of the above mentioned nomads carry their homes with them and pitch tents or park their bullock-carts as the case may be. They live light too. I can’t say the same about myself.
When I had done a post on moving homes last year, I honestly didn’t think that I would be doing another one so soon. But here I am, doing it for you folk as I am getting ready to move….Only the change is constant if I may use an oxymoron. The length of stay in one house is never fixed — sometime a few months, at others a few years; but move on, I must. It is destiny.
My parents moved houses too. So I guess it runs in the family. Father was in Central Government service and so if we were not moving to different cities, (sometimes he went alone when he was transferred) we shifted houses in the same one. One year, I remember shifting three houses in one street! Mother made do with the worst facilities and made it a warm home for us. When I have to make do with abysmal arrangements in the various houses I have lived in, I remember her with admiration and soldier on…
As houses go, I have lived in houses ranging from a single room flat to an independent house with garden and all – houses with shelves and storage cupboards, bare houses, houses with large/small kitchens, dark houses with little sunlight and nice and bright ones with good ventilation. As far as varieties go, I have had a smorgasbord of living accommodations. But the houses I most prefer are the small ones which are compact, with all the clutter out of sight in cupboards and cabinets, a functional kitchen, no water and power shortage and with the markets and other facilities close by.
I have developed a standard routine over the years for all the moves: hang up the curtains as soon as possible, set up the kitchen in record time and the kids’ study area almost immediately. With the result that they settled in seamlessly and went about their routine — found new friends, discovered the surrounding areas and so on. On hindsight, I regret never giving them the comfort of the constancy of one place and the chance to grow up with a set group of friends in the same neighbourhood. Sometimes I feel it was fine since they have learnt to adjust to different circumstances and at others I feel they have missed out something.
So used to the moving were the boys when they were growing up that when we bought our own house, the younger boy was still a pre-teen and probably the enormity of living in one’s own house did not sunk in. In fact, I myself forgot sometimes that it was my own house and I could hammer as many nails as I wanted on all the walls without having to worry about the owner’s objections. Obviously the younger one had forgotten too since he asked, ‘Ma, won’t the owner mind it if you put up so many nails?’ and then another day, ‘When are we shifting from here?’ From the mouth of babes and all….for, we did shift even out of our own homes – more than once, in fact.
While some might find it comforting to roost in the same place sometimes for generations, the nomadic genes in me get restless with constancy. So when we are not actually shifting houses, I shift around the furniture, change rooms, curtains and the like, to beat the monotony. For all my cribbing about this, I can list a few advantages of frequent shifting of houses:
- Escape from neighbours like this one.
- Hoping that the new house does not have the problems that the present one has (never mind the new problems)
- Clearing up of clutter. This one factor alone is worth a lot since the longer we stay in a place, the more stuff (usually useless) we accumulate and are too lazy to clear.
- Any other advantage that you guys can think of?
But seriously, I think I have some gypsy blood in my veins from some distant past.
And so here I am, trying to pack the stuff – which I had only unpacked less than a year ago — trying to shut out the inconveniences that I have already spotted in the new house, and planning on making a HOME for the nth time, actually the 43rd time in three and half decades. Wonder when my days of wandering will end.
As I mentioned in the post last year, the north wind blows in the film Chocolat signaling another move for the protagonist as it had for her mother and her mother before her. Only no North wind blows to signal a move for us. But some unseen force is surely at work or else we wouldn’t still be moving, when others our age are settling down to a peaceful life. Wish it were as simple as the ashes of the urn spilling and signaling the end of our nomadic days as happens to Elizabeth Binoche in the movie.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to live in a motor home, so that all I have to do is to drive to another place when the moving bug strikes. I wouldn’t be messing with my destiny but still get to live in the same house!
Brilliant, would you say?
I will be away from my blog for sometime, as the broadband connection gets shifted and I settle down. Like they say on the tube, ‘I will be right back after a short break! Stay with me, don’t go away!!
“Perhaps it would be a good idea to live in a motor home, so that all I have to do is to drive to another place when the moving bug strikes. I wouldn’t be messing with my destiny but still get to live in the same house!”
It should be fun! I too agree about small, compact houses with lot of storage space to keep clutters/keep away the often not used things. I agree with clearing unwanted things whole heartedly while shifting….I too was doing it!
Enjoyed reading this post of yours, Zephyr!
You know recently a friend advised me to take the opportunity and get rid of stuff that I don’t need. I told him in all earnestness that after so many moves, we hardly own anything superfluous. What we own is what we use with a few spares. Books of course form the major possessions. This house has a lot of storage space and I am glad to say that they are all not filled up!!
Oh great …43 times is something unbelievable…( i believe you are an honest police officer;) to achieve this distinction:)
the best thing in shifting houses is getting rid of the clutter …and getting rid of some pesky neighbors..more pesky ones at the new place are no problem for a while at least…
Best wishes 🙂
Police officer? why a police officer? And an honest one at that? 😀
you are bang on about the clutter clearing during every shifting and also about the neighbours too. But don’t be so sure about pesky neighbours leaving you alone for sometime at least. Me thinks I have got one already 😀 Thanks for the wishes. I need it all.
I have been told that honest police officers are not tolerated anywhere and get transferred every 2-3 months… I know you are not one 🙂
i met you at the indiblogger Delhi meet if you remember:)
Lots of wishes again.
zephyr, all the best for your moving, yet one more time. look forward to your new post in your new abode.
You can rest assured that there will be more in the future. I just hope it is not too soon. 🙂
purani galiyan chodna mushkil na sahi
naye koochon mein dil lagana aasan bhi nahin.
Shifting aapki behetareen rahe!
Hey girl, that’s one thing I am not worried about at all. I can settle in any place, any house, any mohalla…But purani galian chhodna mushkil zaroor hai…Thanks for the wishes and wishing you the same.
Shifting to a new locality is always exciting. You get to meet new people, hunt for the grocer who will become your favorite, a cozy coffee shop perhaps- there will be a treasure trove of things waiting to be discovered. It’s an adventure, never mind the shifting headache!
That’s the reason I have survived so many shiftings 🙂
43 shifting in 3 n half decades! You do have a ready content to write an interesting book “My Shift diaries” 🙂
Hey Lakshmi, that’s a great idea. I am going to start working on it right away. I am sure at this rate, I can get my name into the Limca Book at least, if not the Guinness 😀
You made me wonder – what is that which pushes you to shift so much. I never liked too much of shifting around though did a fair bit of staying around – grew up moving from one school to another due to my father job movements till he in our interested anchored in one place for 10 odd years. Now that I have a place i can call home in Mumbai – i do shudder at the thought of shifting.
Good luck though and tell us about the new home!
I told you, it is destiny! My mother used to lament that we would have destroyed birds’ nest in the previous birth to suffer this kind of nomadic movement 😦
All the best in your own home at Mumbai 🙂
43 times in 3 decades ! Wow ! That’s a tough act to follow ! You win hands down girl ! But I might be trailing second at 24 and still counting… in a span of close to three decades ! This includes moves within cities, states, countries, continents !!:)
I still look forward to the change/move, but not the process itself !
Enjoyable read as always.
You said it, ‘still counting’ 🙂 Hope you settle in your own place by the year end and stay put there. You beat me to it because I have not moved countries and continents 😀
and yeah, the process is hard. wish we had furnished homes like they do abroad and all you need to take are your personal belongings. or is it difficult that way too?
loved to get yet another aspect of yours- the blood of wanderers-yes it exists in all of us-tourism is simply manifestation of that bug.
Touring is fine, since you know you will go back to your own home sooner or later. But yes, it is a manifestation of the nomadic genes in us.
Reminded me of my growing up years. My dad too was in central govt. service and we have lived in Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai. Before I was born, my folks did a sojourn at Bilaspur in current day Chattisgarh.
I’ve always loved moving. I mean, sure I was sad to leave friends behind. But I made many new friends. I learned to speak about 5 languages. I can cook different types of cuisine and my home is an ecclectic mix of things I have picked up during my travels. Did I mention that my job takes me traveling all over India.
Moving so frequently, perhaps I did not get a sense of rootedness. I feel like I belong nowhere. But that has been my strength. i am adaptive, get my bearings quickly and get to work.
Thanks for sharing. I ejoyed reading it a lot.
You are right about rootedness being your strength. Those who belong to no place belong everywhere. The advantages of multicultural exposure to all aspects of life is also enriching. Travel and have fun till you can afford to. 🙂
43 addresses in 35 years?? That’s a lot!! Somehow that made me look at my shifts a bit since I started living on my own after graduation, I’ve had 10 addresses in almost 6 years. 🙂
Stats aside, when you ask about the impact on kids, I can give you my take based on first hand experience. 4 cities, 7 schools, 8 addresses – not many but enough to not stay rooted to a particular spot, but what I have gained is a variety of friends, experiences and probably have been better off for it. The result, you learn to be a better judge of people, you blend in easily and at the end of the day you learn to travel light – something I was reflecting on last night, when I realised that all that I possess which I really need and cherish can packed into a nice 30kg suitcase. And that’s how you grow up 🙂
Change doesn’t faze you, it excites you….
I guess you are right. I have moved a lot too and it has not impaired my sense of rootedness. But when it comes to your kids, you begin worrying about everything. My parents’ generation did not pay too much attention to these things and probably that’s been good for me.
Wow, living off 30 kg baggage sound great. It makes sense to live light when one moves so much. Clinging to possessions can cramp one’s life, literally 😀
Yey! Time to plan a house-warming party 🙂 🙂
Oh sure, if you can find space to sit somewhere! 😛
A motor home is a very good idea! But probably would be too small for comfort.
Happy shifting! And do write about your adventures in setting up the new home in your next post. 🙂
i am beginning to give very very serious thought to the idea of one. When things are all fixed up comfortably, it is fine.
Wow ! 43 times, what a record and what patience. I have been living in Faridabad since 2 decades and after marriage it is my third and permanent home. I still get nervous at the mere mention of house painting as i find it a massive job though we have had several renovations at home.
You surely have a lot of admirable patience:). But there is the excitement of discovering a new place and meeting new neighbors and friends. Happy shifting. Where r u shifting btw?
I get nervous too these days, but the L&M has begun helping or rather doing most of the work of shifting and settling 🙂 No, my patience is running out double fast these days. Still it is daunting to move. House painting can be a pain with all the clutter and dust and cleaning up. Shifting in comparison is easier 🙂 I am moving within Delhi not outside!
Happy shifting; the day we decide to shift to India, am going to take tips from you. 🙂 43 times…that is gr
‘moving on’ literally!!
rest assured will be waiting to lap up your next post!
” 43 times in 3 and a half decades” !! wow! thats some shifting! all the best for this time! i am the opposite kind, who has shifted just thrice in the same period of time, during 2 of which i was a kid, and the third was to my husband’s house! wonder what i will do if i have to start shifting now 🙂
You are the real opposite of the Cyber Nag 🙂 Sometimes i wonder how it would have been had we stayed put like that, but a sneaking suspicion that refuses to go away is that I might not have liked it. Keeping my fingers crossed for you not to shift homes in future too, unless it is to a mansion or palace 😀
I know the feeling. We are already amidst the usual guttural exchanges as to which transporters we’ll use, how will the car move, whether there is any point in carrying the run down sofa and the dining table, and so on and so forth, as we prepare for yet another sacking to an unknown place in May this year. Then there is that broadband thing. It was during one of those upheavals that I could not renew my domain name and had lost it to the Internet mafia, to be rescued after two long years!
Happy shifting, all the same!
But Umashankar, these moves are not prompted by any transfer or change of jobs alone. They just HAPPEN. And when they do, the reasons are most genuine and valid. That’s what makes it spooky. And yes, we have discarded furniture over the years and bought new ones, but i am wondering if I should start living in a studio apartment or motor home that has minimal furniture in order to stop the cycle. All the best for your next move. It is okay till you grow older. 🙂
I am so glad that my broadband connection got reconnected within the stipulated time I was given by the service provider.
43 times in 3 and 1/2 decades… That’s just mind boggling!!
One advantage that I can think of – escaping the traffic and pollution if you are moving from a big city to say a somewhat smaller one!!
Anyways happy shifting homes and yes come back soon:)
One thing I have realised over the years is that I can feel at home anywhere, in any house, once I put my mind to it and adapt myself. But it is getting too tiring and draining of one’s energies.
Happy Shifting!!! the thought of shifting leaves me pulling my hair..There is so much junk that needs to be cleared…We will wait for a post about the new home.
Hey Blue Lotus, got the broadband connection today. the house is in a mess but who cares? I am sitting in the midst of all the cartons and bubble wraps and replying to comments 😀