“I hate it here, can we please go back to Bangalore, how many more times do I have to keep making new friends and repeat the whole act, isn’t six times enough?”

8 years and a major personal loss later, I have come to realise how much the constant moving around actually brought our small family closer and kept us tight-knit till the very end; through all the change, our family was the one thing that remained constant.

From echoing my name in the second largest dome in the world (Gol Gumbaz of Bijapur, a city in India where my father was posted) to living in houses which are the epitome of medieval Indian and British colonial architecture, my father’s job as a police officer took us to numerous places across southern India. I attended eight different schools right from kindergarten to high school, and this constant change of environment every few years has had a strong influence on my personality today. It certainly helped me transition smoothly into college life.

However, what’s interesting is that 4 years of college has taught me so much more than all the different cities and towns I grew up in. At the start, I was a naive, curious girl keen on taking on the new experiences that college had to offer. 

I happily accepted the numerous beautiful experiences college had to offer and found myself growing holistically; all with the help of some of the most amazing friends, batchmates, seniors and juniors.

However, towards the very end, precisely the very day college decided to shut indefinitely, I had to suddenly accept the fact that my father left without saying goodbye and left behind my mother, brother and I with a massive void which only grew bigger with each passing day.

The lockdown, fortunately, helped us become the strongest version of ourselves. With colleges, schools and offices shut, we got the much needed time to grieve the loss of my father. We supported one another to overcome the countless sleepless nights, the innumerable tear-wrenching dreams and the continuous curve balls thrown at us by society to move on from this pain.

This year has been hard on everyone – the uncertainty of future plans, the complete lack of social life, the ambiguous goodbyes, and for some, the loss of a close family member. For me, more than anything, this year has taught me the true nature of human relationships and how even in the darkest times, the mere presence of a few can help you see the light. The only thought I’d like to leave you with is to hold on to your loved ones and tell them every day how much they mean to you. Keep in touch with all your friends and be kind; even to the random stranger you meet on the street, for you never know when you are going to see them next.

Curated by Jijis Basil Joy