It's time again. To pack up and move shop. To severe some existing ties and move on in the hope of new, meaningful, sustainable ones.
I have spent six years in this beautiful city. Six years ago, it seemed such a temporary arrangement, our landing in Leeds. I was on loss of pay leave for a year and in the absence of employment in the UK harboured thoughts of moving back to India at the end of the year. There were other plans laid out for us. I secured a job and K 's tenure kept getting extended. I had my first child and left my first job in the UK to work in the same firm as K. We were blessed with our second diva. I feel a strange camaraderie with this city. I never felt like an alien. I felt one amongst the many souls trying to make a living.
I feel I know so many people, though I don't actually know them! The parents I pass when I drop and pick up Chiyaa in daycare. I might not know them but I recognise them and acknowledge them. The shopkeepers in the farmer's market that we goto every week. The cashiers in the local convenience stores. The security people of the apartment. I could go on about the little ties here and there, like small capillaries carrying life blood into all parts of an organism. Apart from these there are the main veins and arteries. Primary is my midwife. She kept me ever so confident during my first pregnancy to handle everything without any help from elders. Coincidentally she was around the second time too. She must have seen so many women in the span of three years. But when she saw me and gave a smile, I asked 'Do you remember me?' And she said 'Of course I do!' That was a simply awesome for her to say those words. She and I share the same date of birth. We have spoken a lot about our families, about health facts, career, kids, and many other.
I share a good relationship with many of my colleagues. I have been able to tell them about home and family without inhibition. I feel very fortunate to have met such nice people. I might come back to work with the same bunch, or I might be forced to move on post my maternity break. I will definitely miss seeing them on a daily basis .
Chiyaa's carers in nursery have also been a lovely bunch. I have felt so confident and assured in dropping her there and going to work. I have never for a moment felt insecure or ill at ease. Over the years I have seen her mature and become a social individual. I have only her daycare staff to thank for so many positive changes in her.
Two years ago , a college mate of mine moved to the UK. She was initially in a different city but then ended up moving to Leeds ! What are the odds. Trust me such things do not happen to me. We hung around quite a bit initially till the rigours of kids and work made the meetings few and far between. Till last year when I announced my pregnancy to her. I used to take frequent leaves and we both could chill and enjoy a quiet lunch once in a while. She and my mom also got on famously. Since the birth of Pumki we have been able to spend more time together. She has a little boy, the same age as Chiyaa, it's a double whammy for us. It is too bad that she came in so late :(This city made it possible to meet an old flat mate and my best friend.
Things change pretty fast in a progressive city. I remember wondering if we could have a kfc nearer home, K wondering if there could be bigger mall, and a few more wishful thoughts which all came true one way or the other. We still have a month here. But it seems too less. I feel I have to run through a lot. Visit the city centre for those final glimpses, meet people, visit the eating joints - do everything that one last time - all of them need to be done with a sense of urgency for me. I know we can always visit the place, but I feel living here has been a very blissful experience. I will always love Leeds!