Shift

Sift through any history book, and you will find that human beings have always been nomads. In fact a deeper look at the animal kingdom will show emigration or shifting from one place to the other is a natural phenomenon. All these shifts bring some changes, some pleasant some unpleasant. If we concentrate on human life alone, any shift, be it in your workplace, job profile, or residential area, makes an impact. It affects you in many way. I have been a part of many shifts, consciously or unconsciously. This post is all about those shifts that I have been a part of.

When I was a new born my parents shifted their base to the Government quarters in Santragachhi, a suburb in Howrah, West Bengal. I spent some wonderful and memorable 22 years in this very place. I had a love-hate relationship with it. The playgrounds here introduced me to the power politics that even kids play. The cultural fests organised by the GIP employees taught me how you can nurture your creative soul amidst all the pressure of the mundane and practical life. The surrounding greenery gave me an affinity with nature. Though I was not that active in the playgrounds, I was quite aware of the natural beauty surrounding me. The Durga Puja festival showed how even regular middle class people can transcend beyond mediocrity and get creative. Those days and moments proved that if you have a soul, fresh and ever youthful, you can learn new things and contribute to your environment in the most creative way.

And yet I was aware that soon I will have to make a shift from this place, all for practical purpose-to know more about the other areas, other pastures, to read in better colleges or universities. Kolkata, our next stop, meant better facilities and easier transportation options. But amid this much easier and smoother lifestyle I was still missing the green and peaceful calm of the Press Quarter. Despite my irregularities in the playgrounds, the proximity to the greenery has always kept my spirit high. The evenings that I spent lying on a straw mat looking at the glittering stars decking the otherwise pitch dark night sky have remained one of the most haunting memories that I have brought to with me while shifting. Despite having a terrace at the new home the vast horizon is cut short by neighbouring houses, but still whenever I looked up at the sky it reminded me of the wide open fields of Santragachhi.

Life moves on and soon I got an offer from a news agency that took me to the half known state of Delhi, the capital of India. I call it half known because I already knew about it through my cousins and by holidaying there. However, living their alone while working was an experience that no GK book can provide you. This made the place even more significant for me. This is still the battleground of various political intrigues and now it was about to become my first professional battle field. I came to know more about the concept of India and Indian during my stay. Though we claim to be one but still we are very much separated by our petty and regional thought, but that’s another story. During a regular ride to my office I learnt how over rated some people thought honesty, principle, and moral uprightness were. It was a shock, cultural and ethical, but that’s what reality often turns out to be. I tried to sink in whatever lesson this new shift was offering, and to be honest it was tough to accept a large part of those. The real classroom was showing to me the difficulty of choosing only one way as the right and the perfect one. I was face to face with the crumbling idea of ethics that I had only read about. My situation was made even worse by a sudden attack of jaundice, forcing me to shift my base to Kolkata again.

It was this shift back to Kolkata that became a turning point in my life. I not only got a new career option but also met one special person, who was destined to become a very important part of life. New job brought with it new responsibilities, new dreams, and new relationships-a truly memorable shift. The friends that I made during this period are still present in my life, making my life more interesting and worth recording.

My next shift was to my current location, Hyderabad. This time I was not looking for a job only to sustain myself but also to come closer, geographically, physically, and emotionally to the person I love. She reached this city, her first ever shift, just a year before me. After much teething troubles and uncertainty on a Saturday morning I finally got down at Secunderabad Station. This was one of the make or break shifts in my life. Since then I have spent three years in this city and, now, when I look back, I only find myself growing, knowing more about human nature. Physically I am also getting older. The cultural and ethical fights that have come along with the shift are still challenging me. I am fighting with them on a regular basis, but this time I am not alone. The person I held to despite all obstacles and complexities is now with me. Now, she is my wife, my better half. Together we are trying to make each and every new shift a bit more bearable.

Every move so far has been eventful and an interesting affair. While some of them have left soothing memories to cuddle to at the time of loneliness. There are others which are forgettable and not that much important, but still they are a part of my shifting history. I don’t know how many more shifts I will need to undertake before I finally hang my boots. But I am not complaining. Shifting is life.

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