A nomad at heart

Can one be a nomad without leaving home? I would say yes, you probably can.

For the longest time, my family has had a strange relationship with neighbours. It’s not that we don’t want to adjust and do the ‘proper’ neighbourly things but rather that we never felt the need to conform as much and just couldn’t.

A nomad is as much a wanderer, as someone on a quest, someone who’s different and always looking for something. And it’s possible to be a nomad at heart and in your mind, living at one place yet not fully according to the rules of the place, as an outsider observer.

Mom taught me to love the ‘outsider’ traits in a person, to be pragmatic, an individual self who revels in being different because you are different and shouldn’t have to hide it, and also because variety spices up the humdrum existence.

For what it’s worth, mom did try to fit in initially. But it was way too stressful. It was a period of her mingling with fellow housewives, trying her hand at making pickles, gossiping, sharing her food preparations and her stories from childhood. But not everyone could accept her unadulterated enthusiasm, her frankness, her opinionated analysis.  Some did appreciate it and they remained close to us; others not so much. Thankfully, that was the end of the experiments in fitting in, for her and for us.

And I am glad we never did fit, that we always remained untethered, open to the breeze, sights, sounds and people, that we could view without referring to someone else’s lenses. And it has made all the difference.

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