ONE OF MY THREE LIVES



I have said I have a dual life but in actuality, I have three broad lives, geographically speaking. Psychologically speaking, I have more than I can count or categorize, so I won’t even attempt a description of it. I can hardly describe my three lives in detail, but here is an attempt. I will start with the third, the interim life I live between the two long-term lives in the US and in the Kullu Valley: in my hometown, Chandigarh, though I never grew up here. It has always between a stop-gap life between lives, a necessary via. It is where my parents, and now only my mother, and an entire clan of relatives, lives. Wedged between my two solitudes, it is a social life, the place I connect to my roots and all the things that are its manifestations – food, dress, culture, language. I first feel a high upon landing from the US, and getting into the car to make the long night journey to Chandigarh. I feel the high for several days, meeting those I love, a lot of adults, and my joy, the children in the family. Since I have resolved to live each of my lives with engagement and presence, I enjoy all of it. And when weariness sets in, and the interaction becomes too much for the hermit that I am, I head up to my life in the mountains.

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