Living in Two Worlds, and it’s Getting Tiring


I live in two worlds, I dream in two worlds, I exist in two realms that are parallel to each other but are starkly different all the same. Yes, I am still in limbo, living between San Francisco and Mumbai. The last few days have been a downer for me, as the memories of San Francisco have been magnetizing and mesmerizing. I still find it hard to believe that I have left 10 years of living in the US and am now trying to settle down in India. I really exist in two worlds, because while I am living and functioning in Mumbai, my memories keep drifting to my previous life in San Francisco.

I don’t know how to explain it to someone who has not gone through this experience – of transitioning from one continent to another, of adjusting to a completely different culture, of exposing yourself and your vulnerabilities to a different kind of people, and of having to leave behind the luxuries and memories of a very comfortable and secure life. It was certainly a choice we made, although we are still not sure that it was the right one. But, nothing is for sure in life; nothing is guaranteed. There is a certain level of trust and surrender that I need to have in order to make it through each day. It’s funny though, a lot of my friends and family, both in the USA and in India, are convinced that my husband and I will be back in San Francisco before you could even say “chimichanga” (it’s a deep-fried burrito that is popular in Southwestern US cuisine. We used to love having Mexican food in San Francisco). I laugh every time they remark about our eventual return, and I know that it will not happen. We are making a life here – building a private practice (for me), renovating our home, developing a social and professional network, and letting our own personal roots sink into the soil of Mother India. I honestly do not foresee another move in the future, at least not for a very long time. But, nothing is for sure in life; nothing is guaranteed.

It’s so surreal this move, as if I were always in a dream, constantly in a haze of the past and the present. Sometimes I am lost, especially when I sit in a public bus or train, drifting through the streets and crowds that go on and on. This is a tiring process and a process I am assuming that one has to go through, whether they like it or not. It’s so hard to describe this feeling to anyone because it is so personal. 8 months later, it still does not feel like I belong here, like this is home. And I am hopeful, quite hopeful, that with the re-creation of our apartment, and the opening of our 19 boxes that have been shipped from the USA in September (and have not been touched at all), I may be able to make peace with my new life, my new beginning.

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chaya
    May 07, 2012 @ 13:33:27

    hi dr. suri! just came upon your blog, and i’m also from the US, living in Mumbai, and feel very much in two worlds all the time. it’s been a grueling cultural transition (even though for me it’s not permanent), and i’ve found that explaining how difficult it is to integrate into a new society with different values, sensibilities, proprieties, etc is impossible. you can’t know until you live it – it’s much more challenging than I could have ever imagined. good luck and all the best 🙂

    Reply

    • Dr. Suri
      May 10, 2012 @ 22:44:57

      Hi Chaya, Thank you for your comment and also sharing your thoughts with me. Since you live in Mumbai, it would be nice to meet up some time and perhaps commiserate, and celebrate, our struggles in this mad city!

      Reply

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