Posted by: Sanjeev | May 23, 2008

May 31st

Saturday, May 31st, wasn’t supposed to have any meaning. But as the date looms closer, I am filled with excitement, sadness, and a sick feeling in my stomach.

Perhaps as much as a year ago, I bought a roundtrip ticket to India. I did it using mileage points, and so I had to pick a return date that I couldn’t change. August 2008 was too far into the future for United Airline’s booking system, so I went with May 31st.

My logic? If I didn’t get into my summer Hindi program, I’d have an exit back to the U.S. I did get into the program, but the exit is calling anyways.

Nothing focuses your feelings on an experience better than the looming end of that experience. And as Saturday, May 31st, comes closer and closer, I feel sick. The challenging emotions in my mind are translating into the queasiness of my body.

It never occurred to me that the possibility of leaving India would be more difficult than the experience of leaving the U.S. But as I ponder the waves of emotion inside me, I realize why. When I left the U.S., I was leaving home. And I knew home would be a place I would come back to. I would have to learn to live without my family and American friends, but I would see them again. I would return home.

Over the past few months, I have made New Delhi a sort of home. But leaving India does not offer me any guarantees similar to those of my home in the U.S. I don’t know when my next return will be. A year? Three years? Five years? And on top of that, I am leaving friends who have become precious and dear to me.

How do you consider saying goodbye to people you care so much about? How do you move away from a city that is now filled with so many memories? The more I think about it, the more it hurts.

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