Over dinner one night, when he remarked that Heaven alone knew when he would see me again, I chose to handle the subject head on. “Even while I am in India,” I said, “I travel a lot, and you don’t always get to see me. Travel to the US is no greater barrier. I can always come and visit you in India. You too can visit me in Washington.”
“That is true,” he conceded, “but you are leaving your home here. You may not find it that easy to stay in touch.”
He was right. I got busy with my new job in the US, my travels were mostly in North America and the plan to visit India kept getting deferred. To tell the truth, settling down in my new life also seemed a higher priority than a nostalgic visit to my friends and family. I tried to compensate by writing long letters to my parents and calling my father regularly. He always said he missed me but never asked when he would see me again.
Suddenly all my immediate priorities seemed totally meaningless. I could not think straight and simply ambled out of my apartment building. It was snowing and my glasses soon became opaque. I trudged on pointlessly, the realization slowly dawning that the past that I had so complacently taken for granted had forever slipped out of my reach.
I had irrevocably left home.