If this was fiction, I’d been critical of the writer for reaching too far for symmetry. But the truth is that many years ago I came to the US with two suitcases, and this week I headed back to India, also with two suitcases.
Almost two decades ago, fresh with my Bachelor’s degree I headed off to the US for grad studies. In my two suitcases were some clothes, cooking utensils, Indian music audio cassettes which I thought might be difficult to get in the US, and several textbooks and notes for my studies. In equal parts there was anticipation of what awaited and a sense of loss at all that I was leaving behind.
Fast forward two decades. This time, in my two suitcases again there are clothes. One sleek device holds more than a 100 times the music that those audio-cassettes had. And an external hard drive memory, the size of a cigarette packet (our most prized possession) all of our photos, notes and documents with room to spare.
This symmetry is somewhat disingenuous, since we have left boxes of stuff in long term storage. But those are mostly things like extra clothes, vacuum cleaner and microwave oven, things to help jump-start our stay in the US when we get back there. It has nothing that we can’t afford to lose.
Meanwhile, here I am in India (with two suitcases) eager to experience this vast country, and to reacquaint myself with its quirks and ways.
A lesson in exchange for memorable photos
6 years ago