Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A-musing gets a new life

I am writing from Brisbane, my new home for the next few years. Home has suddenly become an ambiguous term. My pen hovers uncertainly over the permanent address box. With permanence taking a long break, transience has become my reality.

The day we were moving out, our press-wala asks me – I heard you are leaving. Are you going back to your own desh?

A Bengali with no roots in West Bengal, I grew up in Delhi and spent the last eight years of my life in Gurgaon. The NCR is my desh and I’m now in videsh, feeling like an “Englishman in New York”. Taking in the unfamiliar faces and accents, straining to hear sounds of laughter, eyes caressing the beautiful river that runs through the city, hugging myself to keep warm as we take a midnight stroll without fear stalking our minds, a little worried that our streamlined, unchaotic existence in Brisbane will rob me off my inspiration to churn out satire....That I’ll no longer be able to work myself into an angered frenzy, spewing venom in the naive hope that my angst will miraculously change the world.

My organized mind feeds on the chaos that surrounds me.

The last few months, I have constantly been beseeched by the same question – so, how does it feel to be moving out? And my reaction was always the same. Silence. Because I had no words to describe the swirl of muddled up feelings. Of being unmoored from familiarity, anticipating alienation and loneliness, yet excited about a new innings in my life.

We never tire of complaining about the monotony of routine, but when change stares at us in the face, we are filled with confusion. Will I be able to make new friends? What if I don’t like it there! And most importantly, will I be inspired enough to write!

My blog is part of my life. I’d hate to let go of it so easily.

So, you will all have to put up with my transition, my mood swings as I search for a new identity.

We spent our Saturday with a lovely couple, their two dogs and a lazy cat, at their country home. Their house is a happy clutter, the kitchen counters overflowing with culinary experiments. They are grandparents but their sense of adventure is still intact. They grow their own fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs, spending hours under the sun tending to them. Taking off for hikes with their pets and coexist happily with the wildlife that surrounds them. A kangaroo hopping past their gardens is everyday business for them. Gigantic spiders often take a pee break in their bathrooms.

It made me yearn for a life I’d be too scared to live.

It also made me realize that you have to let go to savour life that cannot be controlled.

P.S The Aussies can’t seem to get my name right. Suddenly I have become Swami Agnivesh’s favourite drink – Pee.
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125 comments:

  1. Best wishes Purba for finding moorings in new abode. I am sure Brisbane will spell its magic charm and we will still get to read your humor:)

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    1. It will take a while before I get my bearings back.

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  2. Ok Peerba oops Purba Ray... one thing am sure is you won't run short of inspiration to write. Why? I feel changes of any kind might only inspire a good writer to view things differently and to write from different perspective. I assume you are a good writer, am I right? :P :D ;)

    Enjoy the change!

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    1. You are free to assume anything :P

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  3. Purba Ray can never stop churning out satire :) I am sure you will find a billion new things to write about - or you can regale us with tales about living in firang-land :) Good luck ! Its always a little scary when you move from the known and the familiar into the unknown isn't it !!

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    1. Very..and guess what! I have been locked out of my google accounts.

      My first attempt at mobile blogging.

      Delete
  4. As someone who has always been on the move since childhood and has lived in so many towns and cities around the world, I am excited by change! Oh, you will do fine and make friends too. And, you know that, you suddenly find unimaginable things to miss in your country when you are away :). What do they say about familiarity breeds contempt errr... sarcasm ;-)! Take care, and we are always there to cheer you when you are down! About the name, I was relentlessly called Rakna in the US when I stayed there, and I would correct them everytime. Accent is okay but don't mutilate my name :).

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    1. Scary to think that India is about to become nostalgia.

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  5. Good luck in the new city. As long as you don't start writing about Aussie politics, I am sure Indian readers will keep coming back to your blog! You ll find new rants for sure wherever you are :).

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  6. All the best.......look forward to pictorial blogs from your end now. Tell us more....we think you will Pee in peace now :P

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    1. Don't intend to turn this into a travel blog :-)

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  7. G'day, Peebo! Just wait until your new Aussie friends do funny things with your name (by somehow adding an "o" at the end) :)
    All the best for your new life in Brisbane. Hope you continue your quest in changing our world in NCR all the way from 5000 miles away!

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    1. *Sobs loudly* Peebo sounds worse than Peeeee...

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  8. Cheh..if you had told earlier, I would have given some 20kgs of pickles and banana chips ... to give t relatives there :D ( Do you have that problem - we always get stuck with that kind of nuttiness when we travel abroad )
    yenjoy :)

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  9. Like most changes this shift must be exciting as its muddling. The beauty of online world is that we get to read your posts even when you are far away....Good Luck Mate.

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    Replies
    1. And I'll get to keep in touch with all of you :-)

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  10. Best wishes in your new desh! Awaiting to read about your encounters with the auzziessss!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeshhh...they are a gorgeous race.

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  11. I am sure you'll find new things to blog about, and show us all the city of Brisbane, through your eyes :)
    Also, you can take out an Indian from India, but you can never ever take out India from an Indian, right? News travels at a fast pace these days, I am sure you'll get the gossip going, even from a distance and satire will follow! If not, all of us are just a ping/phone call away to fill u up with the latest rapes, warnings of Ggn police to women, psychopathic killers, water logging, thefts etc ;-)

    Good Luck with the new life. I am sure you'll rock! :)

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    1. Thank God for Twitter! Strangely, I have already started getting "who are you to comment about Indian state of affairs" type of remarks.

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    2. Oh My God, are you serious?
      I say, don't bother much about them, Everyone here loves your take on all affairs Indian, so keep them coming! :)

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  12. I am now dreaming of retirement in a home like the one u visited. And good luck to you !

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    1. Better than vegetating and complaining that your kids don"t have time for you.

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  13. "We never tire of complaining about the monotomy of routine, but when change stares at us in the face, we are filled with confusion.."
    Beautifully written Purba..
    I am sure you will find a new "ray" in your life while being in a different country with different cultures. I am waiting for your further blog posts as always :-)
    Enjoy "Pee"rba :-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am looking for my ray of inspiration.

      Thank you for your encouraging words.

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  14. Time to explore & live anew.
    I hope you have a blast.
    Pee ...

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  15. All the best for your stay in the new place! Hope it turns out great :) i like your new name, btw ;) veeeeeeeery ap-pee-ling!

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  16. Superb blog post ! Your blog posts outshine the last one penned by you.So you are simply excelling !

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  17. Lovely words, wonderful afterglow!

    (And THIS was your first attempt at mobile blogging? HOLY POTATO-JUICE-BATMAN!)

    Really looking forward to where you take your blog: the world's your oyster after all! (Of course I'm being selfish here, but I'm looking for more in the likes of the Sita series! Yeay!)

    P.S.: No one can take your Indianness away! Tell those twitteroos to bugger off!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Desperation can move mountains. What's a mere blogpost :D

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  18. You are lucky to have moved to Brisbane,such a eautiful place

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed a beautiful city. Trying to get used to the newness.

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  19. lovely read purba...and u are quite so right...when its something different..we are suddenly confused...then we think of the nice aspect of monotony :_

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in/

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    Replies
    1. Because a routine is non-threatening. It makes us feel safe.

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  20. You're away from the pot-hole ridden Gurgaon that you loved... hope things improve here by the time you visit the place again. :)

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    1. Gurgaon maybe far from perfect, unsafe but it's still my city and I'll always love it.

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  21. Hi purbu,

    I have gone through that confusion in fact five times in my life. And now I have become a full deshi-nondeshi. Life is that dear. All the best:))

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  22. we all grow and change with time. I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for A-musing to showcase a new side and identity which might be just as great as it has been all this while or even better....You will be fine Pee. your readers have no doubt about it.

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    1. And when I falter, feel free to trash me :-)

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  23. Yearning for a life you'd be too scared to live....what a brilliant way of putting it. I'm almost jealous of you - only because I love change. But I'm sure you'll thrive and discover parts of yourself you didn't know existed (no naughty thoughts, please!).

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha...I am discovering new terms, new ways here. Feeling like an oddball.

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  24. wowo.. OZ is a beautiful place
    I would love to og and settle there anytime ..

    have fun mam, and enjoyyyyyy ...

    Bikram's

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  25. I'm sure you'll love it there, and keep us entertained :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yep...first I have to make sure none of my "friends" here know my blog address.

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  26. wow..now lets see what u make of the aussies...

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  27. Yup...Australia, the place where Mother Nature has placed all her worst nightmares. Well....have fun :D
    You can always download Kumar Sanu songs and play them when you are alone. And the Dingos would love Himesh's voice.

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    1. But...but...you toh are in India!!

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  28. Purba,

    JAHAAN RAHO KHUSH RAHO AABAAD RAHO. How I wish we had met before you left and not am not sure if we ever will be able to. Old habits die hard, JAATE JAATE EK Dig TO LE HI LEE AAPNE, SWAMIJI PER.

    Take care

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last two months were absolutely crazy! Didn't get a single day free.

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  29. I was listening to the English Vinglish soundtrack when i came across this! Desi ya Videshi, man me tho hamesha Hindustani Purba!

    Have a nice life ahead at Brisbane!!

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    Replies
    1. On foreign shores, you become even more possessive of your cultural identity.

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  30. Wow!! Enjoy the new surroundings!!!

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  31. Oh Wow! Purba, I'm sure you'll find humour in anything the Aussies do. I'm not worried about your posts losing their satire tadka.

    You know this is going to be a great experience :)

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  32. No doubt you shall be missing the daily tamasha on our roads,streets,surroundings which are so essential food for thought but i know you will not be away from Indian politics! e-papers are enough to keep you going, so what's next on your blog? Good luck.

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    1. I do hope to keep in touch with what's happening here through e-papers and tweets. But distance does change your perspective.

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  33. Things can get crazy around here too Purba. Keep an ear out for things Tony Abbot says or the very right wing pollies. You won't be short of fodder for blogging. :) And no, you won't lose the passion either...I've been here for almost 8 years and there are still things about how women are treated in India that irks me enough to blog about it. The only difference is I hear about it through other bloggers. Enjoy the new place and the new adventures P! :D

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    1. I don't see myself writing about Aussie politics. But as someone wise had once said - never say never.

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  34. Yo gal, you are just across the ditch. How wonderful. I am thrilled. I know a couple in Brisbane growing their own veges too. Wonder if, out of the 2 plus million people there we know the same two. Whether you like it or not, you will get interested in Aussie politics over time. If I'm guessing right, you will sort of straddle both countires. If anything, I'm even more keen to read about your thoughts and experiences - when's the next post? All the best.

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    1. And we are almost neighbours now. Hope to visit your country soon.

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  35. Ahahah!Finally we are in the same country,I moved to Perth last month.
    Welcome to Australia!

    I heard from Zephyr that you moved to Brisbane and I said,"Eh!When?On a vacation?I did not know!"
    Now I can tell Ma that I have one more friend in Australia!!

    Do not worry,Australians will give you a lot of things to write about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We must exchange phone numbers (if you are okay with it).

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    2. Super cool...I've mailed it your id (purbaray@gmail.com)

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  36. Hi

    A new country can bring in lovely new experiences, adventures spiced up with some excitement as well...Have fun :)

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  37. Lucky You.
    Keep Blogging. Will look forward to your posts about life out there Down Under.
    All the Best
    Regards
    Vikram

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your wishes :-)

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  38. All the best Purba...looking forward to some fusion post and observation on NRIs in your new neighborhood :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Before that, I have to make sure that they NEVER come across my blog.

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  39. Brilliant post as always!

    "We never tire of complaining about the monotony of routine, but when change stares at us in the face, we are filled with confusion." - so true and how beautifully have you put it. Please send me your e-blessings :)

    One thing I am sure of is you will never run out of inspiration. Trust me on that :) Looking forward to more post from the Aussieland :)

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    1. Aw...a sack full of blessings coming your way. The hugs are complementary.

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  40. Purba, hugs from across miles. Yes, we often want change but when it stares, no slaps us on our face, we wonder, pause, retract, shudder and yet, ever so slowly the porcupine eases its spines and stares around in amazement. I am a veteran in moving around and across countries--done it 8 times altogether. Each time hard and each time shedding of extra baggage, of being able to create myself anew. You may write and think and speak in new ways, Purba. But your essence, your inner call will always be the same. Same music will arise from new instruments. Wishing and waiting to read and hear more from you--with lots of love from a distance!

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    1. Feel lucky to have friends like you. Hoping that distance will only bring us closer.

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  41. change is the only thing constant but like you say we fear change as much as we loathe monotony. But I am sure you would continue to churn inspiring stuff and in the process acclimatize to the new surroundings too. Wishing you all the very best purba :)

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    1. The question marks that looms in the horizon is as scary as it is challenging.

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  42. Good one... enjoyed reading your blog post... keep them coming

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  43. Good luck in the new Desh! They can't say Purba..well I know how it is. To call me latha, people call it latte..and use your imagination..:P

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    1. Are you planning to turn into Lee?

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    2. Lol..absolutely not. I have already sacrificed my first name. So, I make sure they say at least my middle name properly. I found a new technique these days. I ask them how they say 'thigh' and then add 'tha' to 'la'. Next time, they don't forget..:)

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  44. oh! So I will have to wait to meet you Purba. I was looking forward to it so much. Anyway you almost made me pee laughing at your last sentence. LOL

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  45. Are you planning to come to Delhi?

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  46. Good luck and best wishes on relocating to Australia!!

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  47. God bless you! and many good luck with you. I am here for you posts.

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  48. Aaah the change. You have described the change too well; and so true when you talk about the monotony of life and confusion in the face of change.

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  49. you sound so wistful, like a little girl who has been taken away from her home. But ask a veteran of change and I can tell you that it is most stimulating and someone who makes friends easily will make them anywhere. So relax. As for writing, before you started writing satire, you wrote other stuff, still do. And those are some of my favourite ones. You will find your writing voice speaking out to be heard. And we are waiting. Hugs.

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    1. No. I don't make friends easily. I am very picky :-)

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  50. all the best for the new place ,so we must consider some new refreshing posts soon :D :D have a pleasant stay :) :)

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  51. All the best in Brisbane. I suppose the online versions of the newspapers would come in handy now! But since you're in Australia, I would love to know what the people think of Assange.
    Try something new. Cheers.

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  52. Best of luck. Be careful of kangaroos. Look forward to following you as you process it all.

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  53. Oho! You have left Gurgaon and are sad? Ask the Aussie government to dig some craters in the road around your house there. :P
    And beware! I have heard that they train Kangaroos to kidnap Indians by hitting them with their tail and hiding them in their pouch.
    Enjoy your stay there. :)

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    1. Oho! there's much more to Gurgaon than potholes. I'm looking forward to getting updates about my city from you.

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    2. Here's one. They have made the toll to Delhi free for a few days as a punishment for non-comliance by the operator. So, all the vehicles zoom through the toll and jam Dhaula Kuan. :) Talk about making things easy. :|

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  54. Best of luck Madam, may the transient phase bring make your writing grow to further highs.

    Regards,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  55. All the best Purba!

    As you explore the place do write about those. And if you happen to visit the stadium, tell us about it too.

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    1. Ahha..the world famous Gabba stadium.

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  56. Brisbane is a lovely city, if this makes u feel better. U are gonna love Oz!! Im in the process of changing countries too and these very thoughts have been going through me. Wish the new change brings good things for us.

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    1. All the best for your new innings!

      And what I like the most about Brisbane is, unlike US people love walking here.

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  57. Have been to Brisbane. You must be having a gala time :)

    Your last line made me roll over ..lol

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    Replies
    1. The attempt to educate them is still on. I'm not giving up that easily!

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  58. Best wishes ! Hope you flourish in your new home :)

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  59. Being an Indian abroad for two years now,
    One thing I miss the most, moving out of the country is
    a "Sense of Belonging" to the nation

    secondly your comparisons will now be international instead of domestic...


    -- The unknown

    P.S strictly my experience :)

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  60. Life's like that Purba!
    Keep moving! All the best!
    (PS: Sure you'll find something there also to write on..if not Delhi Jal Nigam then the kangaroos and spiders may be:)) I look forward to reading you soon:)

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  61. Married to a fauji I've been a nomad for a long time now. One thing is for sure though, each change has brought in a new perspective. Enjoy the passage and keep blogging! As someone said,"Rolling stone gathers no moss"

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  62. Purba, this is wonderful post. The melancholy feel, the haunting wistfulness is so visual, I was almost walking with you throught the night in a lonely country. hope you have a great time there, God bless.

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  63. Some wonderful things are coming your way..stay put and soak it in:) Cheers to my favourite satirist of all!!

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  64. Wow!Wishing the best of the best happen to you!! :) I have always looked forward to your writings on blogosphere! And from now my expectations are going to be from a different angle! A different angle of new beginnings & adventureS!!

    Wishing you the best in life!
    Love
    Jenny! xo

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  65. Change is good. So, have faith that it will turn out to be one of the best and inspiring experiences of your life to write on. Good luck Pea! :-)

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  66. Good Luck! am kind of in the same boat too :)

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  67. Catching up with several of your latest posts now. Good luck for life anew in Brisbane, Purba, and hope we get many sarcasm-dripping slices of life in Brisbane!

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  68. :)I didn't think 'Purba' was that difficult to pronounce. :)
    Enjoy your new home. All the best.

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