In absentia

Hello, hello. It’s been a while. As I stare at the blank slate, I feel nervous. I have disappeared from you, my friends, for months without notice. How do I show my face again, I wonder. Will you want to hear from me?

I don’t normally drop out of people’s lives like this in the real world. I give closure, like, “I’m going to be shifting back to Mumbai, wrapping up my sabbatical, so don’t mind if I’m incommunicado for a while.” Or, “I think I’m going underground. Just because. See you in some time.”

But with my blog friends, I didn’t do any of this. No forewarning, no hint. I wonder why. People that I don’t know have visited me, and left behind kind words of cheer and appreciation. The folks I do know are big cheerleaders, enjoying my penned down thoughts and diligently reading each new piece. You all are nice people. I think there aren’t enough nice people in the world, so I cherish you. And normally, I let you know that. In the real world, that is.

The virtual world is still one I’m adjusting to. For all the intimacy it affords, there is an insurmountable distance still. I wonder how much anyone will miss me. There are thousands of stimulating blogs, tweets and Facebook posts to cover up and drown a voice gone quiet. Will the silence be heard?

And so, weeks went by, I didn’t write until I realized it has been many, many months! My own voice bubbled within, fidgeting for a release. Leaving behind the small, self-contained town of Aurangabad to re-join the globally-connected megapolis of Mumbai, there were many experiences washing over me. Saying goodbye to what are still simple folks, feeling the love emanate from the hands that stroked my back in blessings and encouragement for the new chapter. Retraining my tongue away from predominantly Marathi to round the clock English, with people that know Marathi. Detaching from a parochial way of being towards a cultural hodge-podge that has an identity of its own. So many transitions were made as I drove across the 450-odd kilometers.

And that got me over the shamed guilt of being absent, to brave the re-entry into your world. I’ve got stories, of a country that is changing so fast it can’t see its own roots anymore. Of re-entering the corporate world after my sabbatical, and the new perspective with which I look at everything. Of the person I am, 10 months later.

I want to tell these stories. Will you listen?


About Archana

I'm Indian and Canadian, and many other countries in between. I read comics every morning and believe the world could do with slowing down.
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