Thursday, September 17, 2015

Moved to Tears

www.360realtytampa.com


I have discovered the key to everlasting excitement – a life that refuses to settle down and keeps you constantly on your toes making you adjust to a new normal. Much like the commitment-phobic bad boy who women choose over the nice guy.

Eleven years back when we finally moved to our new apartment, I did a happy little jig and said to myself, yay, no more packing and unpacking of mountains of cartons! No more submitting piles of ID’s where we resemble doped convicts and filling forms in triplicate, giving proof of our birth and a forecast of our estimated death – so that we could get our address changed. We’ll grow old and crumble with this apartment. This will be our happily ever after. Yay again!

Truth be told, my yay lasted for quite some time. In fact it felt like a marriage that has lasted long enough to reach a stage when the halo dims, reality sinks in and we start taking each other for granted. It’s no fun to be wrapped in a comfortable cocoon of predictability. You get bored of being bored and soon enough you start itching for change.

The fun fact about change is, everybody wants it. But when it’s finally at our doorstep threatening to knock us out of complacency, we throw a fit like a kid being dragged to school for the first time.

Three years back when we moved to Brisbane in Australia, I welcomed the change. True, it took me a few months to adapt to a new way of living. But once I got past the trauma of being my own cleaning lady, presswali, cook rolled into one, I cherished the freedom I got doing my own stuff on my terms.

What I did not know was this was just the beginning of an unending cycle of settling and unsettling.

Barely a year after moving back from Australia to apartment no. 1 in Gurgaon and then to another apartment, we are getting ready for the tedious process of moving again. Our packers and movers have become an extension of our family. I now call them by their first names.


Every new move hurts like birthing pangs. You move into your apartment that you fell in love with at first sight. You don’t mind unpacking 110 cartons even if you nearly die of exhaustion. After the move you discover that the AC keeps the room toasty, the geysers are environment friendly, half the fixtures don’t work. Add to it the intense negotiation with maids who’ll quote salaries that make you wonder, why the hell did I waste my time on education! Add to the many weeks you spend searching for those important documents or that box of earrings that you’d carefully kept someplace but can’t recall.

The last few weeks, my life has been packed with more activities than the clothes I’ve accumulated over the years. Like every time, I’m busy making bundles of giveaways and chasing apartment society guards, maids, housekeeping staff, begging them to relieve me of the burden. Thankfully, they all oblige.

Moving house these days has become like a project that entails elaborate planning. It involves fixing the date, making field trips with measuring tapes to decide what can fit where. Then we make numerous trips to the new abode to engage in intense brainstorming sessions deciding paint, curtain colours, what to lay off and what to induct into household furniture to suit our new improved image. On project execution day it’s mayhem. You run around like an excited puppy, barking instructions to packers to make sure the bed-linen, towels, your elaborate wardrobe is packed with colour-coded precision, hovering over them hawk-eyed ensuring they don’t maim your precious tea-set that you never use because it’s too expensive.

Once you’re done with moving and unpacking, you collapse in a heap with fatigue but not before proclaiming, I’m never moving again.

Famous last words!

It was never this complicated. When we were a house of a few wicker chairs, a bed, a cooler, a box-like kitchen and three suitcases of clothes, all we needed was a tempo. Packers were unheard of and we’d do our own packing.

I guess this is what we know as natural progression in life. As we grow older we make life more complex. A family of three requires a house big enough to fit in a football team. We accumulate possessions because it gives us a false sense of accomplishment, yet end up with a feeling of emptiness.

Right now we are half way through our move and all I think of is work, why me, can I go back to sleep and wake-up next year!

I am aware this too shall pass. I am doing my best passing on my stress to anybody who’s willing to listen, describing to them in detail how hard I’ve been working, how little I get to sleep and how sick and tired I am of moving yet again. And now that I’ve run out of friends willing to lend me their ears, I’m unleashing my angst in this post hoping that all of you get stressed recounting your own experiences.

Happiness may get doubled when you share it with friends. But stress gets halved once you’ve shared it with the world.

I think I am feeling better already.


37 comments:

  1. Shifting in metros without support ( like army and railway guys have) is like popping triplets. Salute your courage. We are just too lazy, even the thought of shifting makes us throw a fit like a toddler.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alka, it did feel like labour pains :D

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  2. The advantage of packing & relocating is that you know which items are in your house and which are the things to be discarded!

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    Replies
    1. And you get a bunch of happy maids.

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  3. I have shifted 4 houses in 3 years and hate shifting with all my heart. I have shifted in March 2015 and will now shift in Jan 2016 so u hav a friend here. I totally understand u :) and I have stopped hoping that this move is the final one ;)
    But it has its own advantages. U find the lost things. U discard the waste pile but u break ur bones too :(
    get good rest and hv fun . tc

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A big hug to you.

      Also, write a long post detailing your move related angst and make sure you end up stressing everybody. Believe me, it works like magic in easing your stress :p

      Delete
  4. I hate moving. Dad being in transferable job, we picked our bags and moved every couple of years till Bombay brought some stability. Since marriage too, I have moved quite often. Bangalore gave good respite. Last decade in our own home here but moving is looming large in a few months. I am just mortified by the thought of it and sad too. Wish you good luck!

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure the move will be to a better house in a better locality, Rachna.

      All the best and congratulations :-)

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  5. Hate moving. Last 5 years I haven't. The landlord will pay me gratuity for sure. "When we were a house of a few wicker chairs, a bed, a cooler, a box-like kitchen and three suitcases of clothes, all we needed was a tempo.." Absolutely relate to this line. As always very well written.

    Good luck with it.. phew!

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    Replies
    1. I guess once you get past the moving pangs, you start enjoying the newness, no?

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  6. I've never moved. Well I did move to japan and then back but I have lived in the same house in Delhi since I was 15. I don't think I like staying put in one place too much :-)

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    Replies
    1. We've been asking you to move to Gurgaon but you won't listen to us :p

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  7. It's only in the last three years that this stone has started gathering moss. Hopping, skipping and jumping over not less than 25 wooden boxes at the last count in the last few days of moving out and first few days of moving in...Lovingly packing the crockery between layers of clothes, the books, making endless cups of tea for the bhaiyyas who came in stitch the tricycle, the odds and ends that wouldn't fit into boxes in jute packing material... sigh! those were the days my friend...we thought they would never end...It's only then I wonder why the hell do I need so much stuff!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely. I look at the mountain of cartons and wonder how did a family of three manage to accumulate so much!

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  8. Totally relate to your felling, we have moved more times than we remember or care to remember...every move brings change of life, making new friends, growing my plants again kids need to adjust to new school and a pledge to never move again only to break it at the next opportunity... Well I guess that is what life of a rolling stone is all about

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly stops your life from falling in a rut.

      Change is good as long as its not too often.

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  9. That was very thoughtful of you. I do have my sympathies to offer to people like you who have to uproot themselves everytime and go through the entire process of germination again at a new place, new soil, new water (sometimes, new air and sunlight too).

    But no empathy. I have never dared to move even a gali beyond my local mohalla. I am too traditional in these matters. So, even when I or if I extend a branch out of my city, I make sure that my feet are still rooted to my 1st floor flat at 107, MM Rd. Kolkata-54.

    "The place where I was born will be the place where I need to die"- Famous last words :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes a move is beyond your control. Sometimes its an opportunity that you grabbed.

      I have often wondered what it feels to be in the same place from your time of your birth till your last breath.

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    2. And I have often felt how it is to let go every time. But what you said- I am sure I will get similar opportunities in the future. And I may grab them or I may not. What is certain is that it will require a steely resolve to accept

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  10. Can relate to this one Purba.. having moved 5 houses in a couple of years.. but finally and hopefully, we are in our current house for 'happily ever after'. Moving is hard work, no doubt but I also think we get rid of our extra flab and manage to stay lean in the process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahah...moving houses is the best cardio.

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  11. Now I know why you having been missing on this hemisphere. :D hehe...tell me about it..I can totally relate to your 'moving' pain. Been there, done that. We moved last December into our first own home and I swore I wouldn't never move again in my life. I hope the almighty listen to me for once. Like you said, we accumulate so much stuff. When we moved from a one bed room in the pricey bay area to a three bed room in Folsom; the first question my husband asked me was: " Where did you put all this stuff in a one bed room apartment?" Well, Honey..I can fill a ten bed room apartment too...:P

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I was in the US for nearly a month and before I could say jet lag we were packing our boxes and getting ready for our move :D

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  12. WOW what a good way t ohalf the stress .. BUT BUT I am sure it would have halved more had you put up a notice for everyone to come nad help .. I definitely would had you promised some FOOOOOD :)

    No moving house for me for a long time fingerscrossed ...



    all the best and take care

    Bikram's

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  13. I can feel your pain and stress! Gosh hang in there… big hug to you!

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  14. I hear you. I've been doing a lot of moving houses in the past few years and hoping each one will be the last move, at least for a long time and then something happens and then -- we have to move again.

    There was time I thought moving was fun. And it was. It used to be. :)

    Happy moving. Happy settling in. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get impatient to get back to a normal life as soon as possible and end up exhausted and cranky.

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  15. I am just not a game for moving. I turn into this cranky toddler whose favorite toy has been taken away. Hats off to you for making so many hops. I hope by now you are settled in your new place.

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    Replies
    1. I've reached that stage when I've finally started enjoying the change :-)

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  16. Oops,where is my comment,kothaye galo?
    See i know Bengali :)

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  17. I've been put up in a place for so long that I'm itching for a change. I think its great to be always on the move, new place new life, shouldnt be too often though. I suppose your life was thrilling in that way, imagine being in the same place all along, it would be a frog in the well situation.

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  18. I've been put up in a place for so long that I'm itching for a change. I think its great to be always on the move, new place new life, shouldnt be too often though. I suppose your life was thrilling in that way, imagine being in the same place all along, it would be a frog in the well situation.

    ReplyDelete
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