I heard about the first four moves, but the latter five I experienced as his young son. These were traumatic experiences for me. I was perfectly content in each house and did not want to move. Every time we moved, even if it was to a larger or better house, I longed for the earlier house and mourned its loss with endless nostalgia. Given the chance, I would have preferred to die in the house in which I was born, just like my great grandfather.
But, while my houses changed, so did the world around it. The Web grew; email became common; we all started sending photos to friends and calling them across continents. My children went to college in other countries, but they called me and wrote me often. I could enjoy new friends and colleagues without losing my link with older acquaintances. When my daughter graduated and threw her cap in the air, I could see the Pyramids at the back in a video. When I flew to Cuba I could Skype and tell her what I was seeing. The loss had become a little bearable.
I would have indeed liked, like my great grandfather, to have died in the house where I was born, in a tiny brick cottage in central India on a cloudy autumn morning (said my mother), but I am not unhappy that my children seem destined to live in many more than the thirty houses I have lived in.