It always blows my mind just a little when things turn 180 degrees in no time at all. When VC arbitrarily asked me about 6 months ago if I wanted to move home I was vehement in opposing the idea. Mostly because I am a sore loser when it comes to adapting to change. If I have no choice, I sometimes do it grudgingly but until I find my comfy spots around a house, until I am comfortable sleeping and pooping there, and until I know I can let go and breathe easy, I am never quite at home. And I have often wondered if I can ever feel that way ever again, any where else in Goa. Foolish of me to assume that this would be our happily ever after, because of a small but pertinent detail: we don’t own the house.

But that minute detail aside, it really does feel like my happily ever after. Aside from being a roof over our heads, this is my first baby as far as this part of our life goes. It’s where we put our heads together and put things in place, the way we wanted them to be. It’s the nest from where I spread my wings and flew out. It’s the haven we came back to day after day, of hard long hours of work. It’s where we’ve cooked so many meals and discovered so many new tastes. It’s where we’ve entertained so many friends and had family over so many times. It’s where we’ve laughed a little too much, and cried some too. It’s where we’ve quibbled about home decor and furniture and conflicting aesthetic senses and still managed to put up a comfy home. It’s where we’ve curled up into bed on lazy weekends. It’s where we’ve had drinks and dinner in the balcony. It’s where we’ve enjoyed the lush, monsoon view. It’s where we made our first home, our home.

So I think when VC broached the dreaded question, I was vehement because I don’t do well with change. But more than that I didn’t want to believe that VC wanted to up and move just like that.

When we finally found this apartment in Panjim, I was not just relieved because we had finally come to the end of a long and painful search, but also because I was extremely satisfied with what we had picked. This house, the first n a string of about two dozen, ticked off all the requisites I had back then: 1) a clean loo (and we got two!) 2) a balcony and lots of light and air (we got two of these too!) 3) a reasonably logically and well-planned space

We moved into a bare shell and slowly added things together over two years. It is only in the last year that the house has sort of felt more put-together and lived-in, even though so much is remains to be done. Our landlady is a darling and every now and then VC and I thank our stars for how hassle-free, un-intrusive and easy-going she has been. Often forgetting to collect rent, coming to meet us to collect it (rather than the other way round) and never getting in our hair (even though we’ve invited her over a million times!). Every year when it is time to renew we’d keep our fingers and toes crossed that she wouldn’t ask us to leave. Because beyond the basic requisites it initially met, the house has come to be a symbol of our lives together. A step up, a milestone crossed, a new beginning. Even though time is racing by far beyond that beginning, I don’t want to lose sight of where it all began.

And yet, in just six months since VC first brought up that dreaded questions, I have pulled a Dr Jeckyll on him. Today, as I sat surrounded by piles of clothes, sorting through and putting them away into our cupboard, as I dusted away the corners that I had dusted not so long ago, as I looked at the mess things were in, I realised how this home that we were so in love with, is not what it used to be.

The open, breezy space we enjoyed is now dusty and stuffy. The peace and quiet has been replaced by the cacophony of a construction coming up right outside. We’ve gone from waking up to the sounds of birds chirping and mist outside the balcony, to cracking, banging, knocking, cutting and lewd Hindi music the construction site plays, and a cloud of smog hanging over us.

I’m pretty sure it is only a matter of time before the green patch in front of us is gone too. The speed at which they razed down the old bungalow and leveled it to put up a parking lot, and the urgency with which the floors are piling on, makes me wonder how I didn’t seen this coming. As a result there is 100% more dust indoors. Windows have to be permanently shut, cutting off all the wonderful light and breeze that we enjoyed. The birds that woke us up every morning, the kingfishers that sat on the line right outside, the bulbuls that nested in the balcony below us — have all disappeared. And the worst of the all — the sparrows have gone too. I spend double the amount of time cleaning, and yet I am always dissatisfied with the results. I cannot keep up with the inflow of dust, and it leaves me unhappy and VC sniffly. I think maybe that’s why the summer feels extra hot this year. To come home to this everyday, has very quickly become tiresome.

So we’re picking up and moving in a few months. To a new home, with an outhouse, perhaps some gardening too. With less space, but another chance to set things right once again. With a square kitchen and lots of light, and many more months of cooking, baking, blogging and eating. I once said we have been in a constant state of WIP as far a nesting goes. But a large part of me suddenly excited by it. We are better placed now than we were in 2010, to put a home together. In many ways not being able to do it in one go, when we moved here, has forever left it in a state of incompleteness. If that was a series of experiments, this will be our chance to iron out the creases and put in the finishing touches.

Places we live in hold so much more than just our homes and belongings. Within the emptiness that fills the four walls, they hold imprints of all the moments we’ve cherished. They reverberate with resound with the sounds of sweet laughter on a happy day, feet dragging their way to bed at the end of a long night, drip-dropping tears on a tough day and so many memories, emotions and vibes of times gone by. But perhaps this is not so much about leaving behind what once was, but stepping up to what will be. In many ways it is an affirmation of what we hold dear and choosing not to compromise on it. It is about making new memories, in a new space. So although I am not good with change, for the first time since I moved to Goa, I have thought about relocating and actually welcomed it.


21 thoughts on “Re-nesting

  1. Pingback: Ice, ice, baby | hAAthi

  2. Is it strange that all I can think of is that ugly building that’s outside your balcony? I feel bad that it’s the reason you’re moving but what kills me the most is this stupid construction nonsense that’s become so normal in Goa. Kills me is an understatement. I died.


    1. It is definitely changing the face of Pretty Panjim faster than I imagined it would. The problem is most highrises do little to add any aesthetic value. I mean build buildings, massive ones, if you must. But at least make them pretty?! With some greenery, some breathing space? But it is too much to ask for from money hungry property developers I guess. Its why we’re moving further away and even though it will be a bit of a trek from all the conveniences of panjim, im okay with it.


  3. I used to think I was kind of one of the rare types always picking up and lugging trucks of crap from one rental to another. And then fixing each place up promising myself and the husband that we wouldn’t move! We did that year after year! I think these past 2 years I’ve realized that just about everyone does it till a certain age. To me the hardest part of the moving game was losing the house I grew up in. My parents sold it and moved to the village when I left to the US and I never got to see that place again. It was devastating. And now I’m noticing that most people start settling in to a place when their kids are kind of in middle school, when their children can remember and recall their memories in that home. At least those that I’ve seen around me! There’s no end to this until you pop out a bunch of little rascals and are too tired to move that often anymore!! :)


      1. You love food, cooking, traveling and writing … you have all the right symptoms for being a nomad .. I wish you all the luck to help you get there successfully and happily :) It’s kind of freeing I’ve heard. Much Much more freeing than the kind of freedom you feel with routine and habit, a few of my anthropologist friends vouch for! Oh well! Let me know if you do. My little rascal more than adds up to 5 of them, so I ain’t becoming free nomad anytime soon.


        1. I think being free is one thing. And in that sense, I am fairly free. Unbound by the responsibilities of children or aging parents and the like. But being a nomad, is quite another thing. I am free, but Im really not a nomad at heart. I like adventure and travel, as long as I have my same home, bed, loo, routine to come back to. I can go far and wide, but I will always long for that sameness of routine. And I suppose nothing really can change that.


  4. Wonderful Post, I have just moved into a new house with the husband a month ago, and we are doing all the little things that will make this house look like a welcoming and warm home.


  5. Lovely post! I got married four months back and I have been adding things to our new home one by one. Reading this made me realize that when I will have to move from here one day, how much I will miss this.

    ” I don’t want to lose sight of where it all began.”….that touched me the most!

    But I also like the part where you said how these experiments will change into proper decisions in a new home. :) Good luck with it!


    1. Oh that newness is marriage is awesome. Hang on to it, I say :P
      But then again, every milestone you will reach as a couple has that “first time” charm to it. So there are bound to be plenty beginnings!


  6. R

    I am a nomad too. I like routine and sameness only until the time it doesn’t begin to bother me (which I’ve timed and now have realised is a little over 2 years). Once it does, my itch gets unbearable. I am already feeling that way about my current city and the summer is not helping.
    New house sounds like fun :). I love the last paragraph. Remember those lines from OJ’s post on claiming spaces? I am forever amazed by how much places claim us, as much as we claim them.


  7. I think I’d something very crazy if I were forced to settle down in one place. I am a nomad at heart.
    Best wishes for the move. You’ll do great. How do I know? Your last sentence. :)


    1. Thank you :) I usually do alright, but having only ever moved homes thrice in my entire life, I don’t take to the activity very well..Things do work out. It is just a matter of getting out of one routine and into another.. I am rather a creature of habit and thats usually all it takes to settle things down for me.


  8. great post. the ex was looking for some info about my previous residences and when I sent over my list the ex was surprised how many times i’ve In 10 years (7, at one point it was yearly). I hate, hate HATE moving.I don’t think I’m a nester. I just need a good routine. is the new home going to have a garden?


    1. Ooh i so hear you. I need routine and habit and sameness. Which is why i hate all kinds of change (literally and figuratively). Yes the new house will have a garden outhouse of sorts. Of course i have this amazing ability to kill any plant i touch, so what is going to happen in the remains to be seen teehee


  9. I have relocated 14 times in 13 years of marriage. It is definitely a tiresome thing . The moment we would start feeling literally at home, it was time to pack up and leave wonderful memories behind with the house.

    Moving to new house albeit tough can be exciting too and that was the only thing that kept me going. Good luck on your move :)


    1. Wow, that is a lot of relocating! respect!
      I use the term “relocating” very loosely here, because I am moving merely some 10 minutes away from where I now live. But yes, thats how horrid I am with change and finding my comfort zones again. And yes, you’re right, the excitement of starting over and doing right all that we couldnt do here is keeping me on my toes :P


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