Nineteen years in the making…

All it took was nineteen years…

Nineteen years back in May, I landed in Dubai. First time out of Bangalore, first time out of my comfort zone. First time in a foreign land, with a set dream that I was to focus on realizing.

I had given myself three years to make a certain amount of money so that I could buy a house back home in Bengaluru. Three years and I was to go back. Short-term assignment of sorts.

Nineteen years later, I find myself sitting, for the first time, in a house that I can call my own. Big or small, fancy or not, old or new, doesn’t matter. What matters is that it is mine, not rented, not leased, but mine.

A feeling that everyone aspires for, and a dream that has got so hard to realize. Food, clothing and a house – as the hindi phrase goes – shouldn’t be so hard to realise. More than half a life goes in making a home, and probably the rest goes in ensuring that one keeps it.

Why do we as humans set such near-impossible targets and then struggle to reach them? Why should it be so difficult to find your own little space on a planet that is so vast, relatively speaking? Do we as a species deserve more than this never-ending struggle to fulfill our needs and wants?

Yes, society has progressed. Life has become much more comfortable. But all this has probably come at a cost. Of privacy, addiction to technology, more staples being touted as luxuries, and a relentless pursuit of increasing wants.

Some of us hit the lottery of life – we manage to fulfil, or come very close to fulfilling our dreams. The rest dream on, and slog on, hoping to get there. Does it in some way take the fun out of living?

I am blessed today. Yet I find this moment bittersweet – I had to struggle nineteen years to get here. Others struggle for many more, some struggle for much less. This is life, after all. Not the same for everyone who goes through it. But surely a much better experience for someone who lives it:)

Welcome to अट्टालिका…(Aṭṭālikā in English). Welcome home.