Alone in the City

LONG POST ALERT !!!!

Yeah, I was not born in Hyderabad, but I belong to this city so much, that I feel that there is nothing out of this city for me.

What possessiveness about a City – is some people’s questioning glare, to my obsession with Hyderabad. Being a 13 yr old teenager, don’t I have the rights to choose my city of happiness??

I love Hyderabad and each and every part of me, is synchronised with the city.

My friends are here, both in the school and in my apartment. I just have great fun with them. They understand me and love me so much and I reciprocate their feelings only too well.

At school, I’ve the maximum fun. Shakthi is my best friend and I share everything with her – my feelings and secrets. She’s always a top scorer. Even though I don’t top the class, I come within the top 10.  She helps me with lessons, if I miss classes.

There is this huge gang of girls – me, Shakthi, Joyce, Saras, Harini and we have great fun together.

Me and Harini, always join together for mischiefs and naughty get-togethers.  Only one of us studies for tests and the other copies from the other. Our gang of girls knows about it, but they always smile and let us do our naughty things.  Even when we are asked to stand outside the class, for not bringing some notebook, me and Harini have great fun, standing outside.

The flat I stayed in, is a huge complex and I’ve so many friends over there. Every evening, we get together to play Kho-kho with each team comprising of 20 members. Its so much fun.

While I was busy playing, making mischief and enjoying myself, something mysterious was going on in my home. Mom and Dad were deep in discussion always and sometimes I saw that their smile was forced.

I didn’t know what to do neither I knew what was going on.

All the secrecy was out after sometime, when I heard my Mom talk to her sister, about shifting to Chennai. My God, I was shocked.

No, I don’t want to go to Chennai.

Why, your cousins are there. Grand parents are there.

But still, all my friends are here, in Hyderabad. We can go to Chennai to visit them, not shift there.

No baby, it doesn’t work like that. You see, Dad has got a new job over there and it’ll be better if we too shift with him.

Let him go and stay with Uncle. I don’t want to go to Chennai.

My darling, you’ll miss him later and trouble me so much. You remember how much you missed him, when he went for that long tour last year ???

If I miss him, we’ll go to Chennai and see him. And, Mom, this is our own house. Why do you want to leave our home here and go ???

Yes, baby, I do understand. Leaving this home and going to a rented house is a difficult thing. But, still, we need to undergo this shift to Chennai.

But which school will I go to ????  Already Quarterly term is over…how will I manage with the notes and all ???

We’ll find a good one, darling. Don’t worry, you’ll do fine.

OMG !!! OMG !!!! OMG !!! This Mom always has an answer for every question of mine. Why can’t she just understand the fact that I don’t want to shift to Chennai ??? How will I have friends like this, in Chennai??

Now, was the more difficult task – to tell my friends about this shifting.  None of them were happy, neither was me. We all sulked the whole day and everyday after I told them about the shift. We never smiled, we didn’t want to play. We held hands and sat quietly, sometimes we cried.

After a whirlwind visit to Chennai, the school and house were all set.

We came back to pack our things.  It was difficult to say Good-bye to my friends, my neighbours and more difficult to say bye to our home. I loved this home of mine.  I never knew it so much till now – but looking at the empty house now, with all the things packed and loaded onto a truck – I felt immense love for my home. I loved my study table, my cupboards, my dressing table, my mom’s beautiful kitchen and actually every inch of it.

Now that we got admission in a school, just next to our new house in Chennai, I was really scared of one thing. Will I get friends here ??? Will the class mates be friendly towards me ??? I put up a brave face and went to school, but the fear and the utter necessity of finding a friend, tugged at my heart.

What if none of them talk to me ???

What if they are too busy with their own friends and start rejecting me ???

How can I tell Mom about all these ???

The first day went off just well, even though nobody talked with me so much, I felt OK.

The trouble started the next day.

Because already the group of friends have been formed, I was left alone. I couldn’t join into any group – someone in the group didn’t want me there.

The teachers were so different from the ones I had in Hyderabad. They are more oriented towards serious studies and the concept of having fun in class is totally prohibited.

Every day was proving to be more difficult. Even if some girls came and talked to me, they kept me out of the class secrets.

I felt alone in spurts, when they’ll all leave me and talk something in whispers.

The boys too were unfriendly here. I felt it quite strange that girls refrain from talking to boys here.  I had so many boys as friends and we were having so much fun in class, in the city of my heart. But here, everything is different.

Everyday, I cried and complained to Mom. I was adamant on going back to my city.  But she had the patience of a mountain. She’ll take all my tears and talk to me patiently. She was the only thing that made me happy in the first few weeks of shifting.

Then after my performance in the half-yearly term exams, slowly the other classmates started talking to me.  Performance in exams was a criteria to make friends huh ???? Strange. But still, I was sad – there’s no one called a Friend.

I used to chat with my friends in Hyderabad over the weekend. I cried when they said that they miss me so much and the class is not the same without me.

I was drooling on my sad thoughts, when I heard that 2 girls are shifting out of this school. I wished that I was also among them, to shift back to my friends in my city of love.

But the moment, the new classes began, I found a change in some girls. The going away of those 2 girls has actually given freedom to others to choose their friends. My God, I didn’t know that students can hold others as friends by sheer force or I don’t know what reason.

I found 2 girls getting friendly with me – they came along with me when I went back home – they stood with me to chat about all silly things. And the surprise of surprises, I was responding to their friendship with a smile. I really liked these girls.

And when one of them asked – Will you be my best friend ??? – WOW, I readily accepted.

I’ve come a long way, from that day, probably a little short of an year. But I still remember the day, the friendship flower was offered to me. Its one of the best feeling, I’ve experienced.

I still chat with my friends at that lovely city, but life’s not so bad here too. I am learning to make friends all over again.

The girls who left the school, were partly responsible for my lack of friends before, which I came to know later.

Now, that all’s settled, I am having a great time with my best girl friends.

Someone’s loss of friends was my gain. And I am happy to be here.   But given a chance, I would go back to the city of my heart. 🙂

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40 Replies to “Alone in the City”

  1. I have moved places and houses since I was a toddler that these feelings are really alien to me. I really looked (and still do) forward to moving to a new place and the making new friends 🙂

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  2. Wow. Whose post is this? Yours? Or Sh’s? 😉
    Why just school, even when I joined for PG, the first 2 days were doubtful. The 2nd day, after college, I got a message in my phone, from one of the girls, asking “Shall I sit next to you from tomorrow onwards?” And THAT was the start of a beautiful friendshp. She’s still the best friend I’ve had all along 😉

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  3. I’ve never moved houses, Uma 🙂 Lived in the same apartment, same locality for two decades and more!!! My parents still live there, with leaky roof and bumpy roads 🙂 However, I can empathise with how lonely you must have felt, with everything being new and the new girls not being ready to accept you into their circle.

    Believe it or not, the same trend continues when people grow up too. Where I live now, there is a big group of Indians working for the same organization, and they simply refuse to extend a hand of friendship. Even if I smile at them, they would measure their smile and give half inch of precious smile. Crazy females. These days I’ve stopped trying. I just ignore them too, and I notice they are actually taking a little effort to smile. Sadly, snobbery works best. Its so disgusting.

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    1. Pal, this is abt my daughter Sh, not abt me….

      But seriously I feel that way too, in this apartment…I dont fit into any group, nor I’ve a BF here, at a moment’s call or notice. I still depend on old frndships and of course, my sister being nearby is a great consoling thing for me.

      Some ppl never change Pal – I know snobbery works….even I do it, when forced. 🙂

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    1. Yeah, true. Home is where the heart is – but the heart shld feel happy with the place too…

      Just read recently at Smithu’s – the familiarity of frnds, the acknowledgement of your presence, by the people around you – all this matters in making a home, wherever we are. 🙂 Its a wonderful place, no denying that – but the heart is not yet comfortably home. 🙂

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  4. Lovely read. I can picture my little S say similar things about our move, if she were little bit older. It is hard for kids to understand why we have to move.

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    1. Absolutely Lakshmi. They are too young to understand them.

      Since I was stay put in the same place till wedding, I loved the adventure due to shifting places and still enjoy it. 🙂

      Somehow, my daughter didnt take up my gene, in this regard. 😉

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  5. Awww! I am glad that she is now re-settled well! Must have been tough on the kids and you !! I hope you will come to enjoy Chennai! Hyderabad sounds terrific! Thus moving-I have done it so often and am ALMOST used to it ,somewhat and expect it to happen yet, it can be tiresome!! Sigh! Even the house shifting after lease ends is getting so tough(or is it that I am aging and unable to handle the packing unpacking over and over!) I am dreading coming March when I will either decide to renew or move out of this apartment!Oh !

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    1. Those were really hard times Indy – when we shifted to Chennai. Sh will be troubled almost every day. I was talking, talking to her…to make her come out of it.

      Yes, glad that she is fine…

      Oh dear !! Do u have to shift out of that wonderful house with a great view ???? How will u get ur WW pics ??? 😉 😉 Just joking. Its hard to shift, even if there are packers around. Its the settling of the heart and mind, thats important to handle. 🙂

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  6. awwww baby (if u will forgive me calling u that)… u made aunty (or may be didi 😉 ) M’s eyes little misty u see u brought back all the memories of the time when she left her house of so and moved to a far away different locality in the same city when she was a girl a young girl like u…

    I think I went thru the exact same phase though I think I was in college than but the reluctance to let go and then making that one move to make new friends… and let me tell u my dear that THIS IS LIFE in a nutshell… what u have learned from this one move… never forget in life…

    1. ur mom loves u the most even when it doesnt feel so… remember she was so patient with u
    2. never let go of the old friends and never ever resist to make new ones
    3. always try and give everything u do ur best… exceling at something always pays
    4. at times u will have to let go of past and move ahead in life… it happens and try to take it with a smile

    having said that dont girl girl I am still struggling to master some of them above 😉

    hugs loads of them and now let me end the mini post here before ur mom starts complaining abt her comment space

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    1. Hugs to you Monu, for this comment. I made Sh read it too. 🙂 🙂 She is so glad that shes got company here and shes not the only one to suffer the consequences of shifting places.

      Just loved your comment – so what if there are spelling mistakes ??? We understood every word, every feeling behind it. Thanks so much. 🙂

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  7. Awww! As a young kid we got posted all over the place. I loved making new friends, but forgot old ones very fast. Fickle minded of me I agree! Poor kid! But it will make her stronger and learn more about herself

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    1. Exactly what I am trying to tell her – this experience will make her strong from inside. 🙂

      I think its the basic preparation, when u move into a new house, which matters. When we bought a flat and settled there, my daughter never thot of shifting. So, when it happened, she was not prepared for that.

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  8. Aww! The poor darling! I can imagine how she must have felt after living there for so long. We used to shift houses, in the same colony, so I was kind of used to making new friends and having the luxury of not completely losing touch with old friends while growing up. After leaving home for college, though, moving to different places has been the norm. For a young child though, it must have been quite an upheaval. Moving away from all things familiar, into a new place, different everything.. Not easy at all. But am sure she will look back at this in a few years time and be able to smile at her experience 🙂

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    1. The lack of friends really was the troubling part….she is OK now, adjusting a lot. It was the total unpreparedness of the shift, which troubled her more.

      Thank you Smithu….she’s been reading all your comments and it has certainly helped her a lot. 🙂

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  9. Like Shail I’ve moved around all through my childhood. But then we settled in Hyderabad when Dad retired and I moved only four years ago to Mumbai. I do miss Hyderabad, but like your daughter I’ve learned to be happy in Mumbai.

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    1. Yes Corinne, life is smooth for those who go along with its ups and lows. Its OK with me, the little girl suffered a lot initially, now she is getting along fine. 🙂

      Its the prepared and anticipated shifts, which are exciting. The sudden shift we did was totally shocking to my daughter.

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  10. Lovely, Fresh writing about your girl’s perspective 🙂
    Oh my..I know how painful it must be to move from her favorite city, and to sit in a class of unknown strangers 😦
    I am happy that Sh has started liking Chennai 🙂

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  11. I can totally echo with the feelings of your daughter. My dad works for a bank and we move almost every two years. That is one reason I never got to maintain frnds. 😦

    Hope she is all adjusted now and is having fun 🙂

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    1. Oh that really tough, right ??? I really wonder how the people in the Defense Forces and Bank keep moving so often !!!! So much patience…of course, you need a love to visit new places…then its more fun. 🙂

      Yeah, Sh is doing great. Thanks Dil !!! 🙂

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  12. I liked this post; from her point of view ! Nicely written Uma !! There is no shortage of friends actually; we just need to be careful in choosing them !

    btw, you had to insert that ‘patience of mountain’ somewhere, didnt you ? 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

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