Being Back Here


I’m back in Coventry. I hesitate to say I’m back at home, because I’m not sure it is anymore. There’s no angst about it though…just a shift in perspectives. I’m in my parents’ house. We arrived here on the 1st of May and surprised them on their doorstep. They were over the moon! We were exhausted because we had just come via 5 days in Paris. (Another post for another day)

I’m enjoying being back in the town of my childhood. I love the English springtime, although we experienced only rain for the first couple of weeks. I love the fact that you can step out of your front door and take a walk without the fear of pollution and waste and traffic and a basic lack of footpaths. I love being able to drive a car! Needless to say, I’m too scared in Calcutta to even attempt it. (Maybe, one day). I love the fact that I can pop to the library and pick out children’s books with my children and have them beg me to stay for longer. And then, walk to the charity shops and look for, yet more books, as we stop to feed the ducks in the park, by our house!

I loved meeting my old colleagues to the point I almost wanted to go back to work and I loved meeting old friends and seeing their little ones who have grown up so much it’s silly, but completely understandable! (Child time works differently compared to adult time).

I haven’t even mentioned food yet. During my first week here I found a full block of mature English Cheddar in the fridge. Then I saw the fresh strawberries! I have been feasting on cheese and strawberries ever since, in between real meals, of course!

I love the flowers too.  Apricot roses nodded in greeting and rhubard and custard tulips stood to attention, as we arrived through the big white gates to my parents’ house. Everything was comfortingly familiar.

Being back here though, has had a negative effect on me and my attitude. I was calmer in Calcutta, I had learned to go with the flow, to be less angry. I find actually, that it was Calcutta which had that effect on me, not so much a shift in my personality…because being back here is turning me slowly into that angry, frustrated, grumpy person I was before I left. Or perhaps it’s just being in close proximity to my parents and my little brother, all of whom I love more than words can express but who also succeed in driving me crazy in equal measure. I also seemed to have lost a lot of time during the day, even though the sun does not deem fit to set until around 8.30-ish in the evening. I’m washing dishes, I’m cooking (a little), I’m actually looking after the children and by the time I go to bed, I’m shattered. I was spoiled in Calcutta! I had time to read and write. I’m not really doing that here! (Which explains why I haven’t posted anything for such a long time!) And that’s making me feel a little out of sorts too.

I don’t know…I’m overthinking things. I need to chill out, as they say and calm down and breathe. I need to sit with my grandmother and listen to her stories because they are wonderfully entertaining. And I need to watch my children play games with each other and their grandparents who conspire to help them steal sweets from their great-grandmother’s room when she nips to the bathroom and I need to breathe in the spring sunshine whenever it appears, as I hang out the washing on the line, in the back garden that grows runner-beans and peas and tomatoes and tats.

(Photos next time, I promise!)

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10 thoughts on “Being Back Here

  1. Lovely read! I know that every time I go back home I always struggle with ‘reverse culture shock’ (and as I leave Uganda in 5 days I’m already dreading it). I hope that it gets easier for you over the next few days!

  2. I can so understand that feeling you are describing here. I’ve been to Calcutta for a couple of month. At first I never thought I would be comfortable there.. the chaos, the noise, the heat, the poverty.. but after a certain time I got used to all that and I even learnt to look beyond these things and discoverd how magical Calcutta actually is. I fell in love with the place.. and it put a spell on me as well .. it changed me.. for the better. Sadly, now after a few weeks back here in Europe there is not much left of that person Calcutta changed me into. I really miss that peace I used to be in.

    I’m glad I found your blog. I love what you share about Calcutta and your life, your writing is wonderful .. for a few mintues I can forget things and let my mind wander back to Calcutta ..

    xx Anira

    • Thank you so much for stopping by Anira! I’ve returned to Kolkata…got back this morning and it was absolutely wonderful!

      I hope you can channel the person you became in Kolkata again…and I hope this blog helps! I’m glad you’re enjoying it! 🙂

  3. I hope you still find the time to write for purely selfish reasons! What you describe here is a dilemma I am experiencing myself; the daily run of normal life isn’t always conducive to writing is it? Making time for it when you have ordinary things to do like cooking, washing, being with family takes up all your time, and we give it willingly, but that inner life doesn’t always make it on to the page. I also find that living somewhere rather nice and familiar is not always necessarily the best catalyst to writing something interesting either.Best of luck

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