My Mom was just telling me about how even before I had started school as a kindergartener, people living in our colony looked out for me. From the gardeners at the park to the Sisters at the convent I studied in, everybody knew the tiny girl who loved to run like a duck on the road (I hated it when my parents carried me. Weird, I know!).
When the day finally came and I had to go to school, I was weirdly okay with the idea. In fact, I don’t think I cried on my first day of kindergarten at all. But on the second day, it dawned on me that this wasn’t a one-time thing. I cried. I was bawling my eyes out.
And if it hadn’t been for the Sisters who probably knew me ever since my family had moved into the neighbourhood, I would most likely have been a whiny kid who hated going to school. And I’m told that I was quite a handful, so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been.
And there was this other time when I got ‘lost’ and Mom couldn’t find me anywhere. It was a gated society and everybody knew each other. In spite of a two-hour-long search, there was no news and Mom was close to tears. It wasn’t until somebody informed her that I was at a friend’s place that our neighbours dropped the search.
Now, I don’t know what kind of luck I had as a 3-year-old. But I can tell you that the neighbourhood that we lived in was more or less like a close-knit family. Even though we all live in different cities (or countries) now, we’ve kept in touch. That kind of a connection with people, the kind that doesn’t fade away over time, is so rare.
Even though I was just a little over 4 when we moved to a new city, I have memories of the festivals the entire neighbourhood celebrated together. As though they’ve been etched into some part of my brain. Like a warm, fuzzy echo that randomly pops into my head when I need to cheer up.
Even now, as I type this, I am holding back tears because I haven’t found a family as close-knit as the neighbourhood that we once used to live in. It was our little bubble of joy that somehow was rudely popped as I moved to a city that neither welcomed nor appealed to me.
And although I eventually got over the fact that I had moved, I will never forget the kind of love that the neighbourhood had for everyone living there. It’s just one of those things that you can’t forget.
Hope you find your good vibes tribe, too!
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