Hi everyone. My Visa got approved. I will get the documents on the third week of January, so my tentative date of departure is around the last week of Jan or first week of Feb. (For details, read here.)

Obviously it is a strange feeling. I am finally leaving India. Probably for good. The culture I grew up with will no more be. A new land, new culture calls. It is exciting, but with an underlying tension.

The last one and a half year was tumultuous, almost surreal. So much happened, both in professional and personal life. Mostly fulfilling, some devastating. This blog also went through a lot of changes, since I started it in April ’10. It started as an offshoot of my “World Watch” columns which I used to write for the now defunct “Bombs and Dollars”. It was hilariously frivolous, meaningless and sarcastic. With time this blog became more serious in nature and tone. Probably reflecting the tectonic changes that happened in my personal life, as I grew from a stoic, carefree young reporter to a reserved Political Science professor. Meanwhile the socio-political situation surrounding us also changed. But I really don’t want to lecture about that today.

I met a few wonderful people during this phase, who influenced me for good, who I would like to thank. My boss in the PR company I used to work for. I couldn’t tolerate his attitude ever, probably won’t be able to even if I meet him in the future, but now that I see him from the distant detached eye of wisdom, I probably learned the most important lessons of my life from him…the lessons of behavioral science. Of how to tackle people you otherwise would want to throw off the cliff. The girl, who inspired me to go out of this country. Without her, I would probably be an editor somewhere, correcting atrocious English. Without her this post wouldn’t be there. My relatives and cousins, who stood by me, no matter what. My few friends I have as I was mostly a nerd, never a social person, who are by far the best in the World. My students, they were a joy, made me realise how I was on the other side of the desk, and relive my Uni days. And my journalism colleagues, the best people I worked with thus far. They are what consists modern India, not the slums of Slumdog Millionaire, not the villages of romanticised stereotypical Bollywood, but the chaotic urban sea that is driving us to be the force of the future. But like this NYTimes article mentioned, “I know India will rule the future. It’s just that I’ve realized — I’ve resigned myself to the fact — that I won’t be a part of that future.

My parents, can’t thank them enough, and I really don’t wish to say anything here, as I know myself what they have been and how they were always there for me, and words really can never do justice to that enormity. And most importantly you, the readers, the silent majority. After 112 posts, and almost 12000 hits from all across the planet, you have been the greatest friends I have ever known. I am happy to write here, without editorial policies and interference, without any political correctness or propriety, without any leash or boundaries whatsoever, and what can give greater joy than to know there are like minded people reading and sharing your thoughts? Thank you honestly.

I will miss my pet Cockatiel. I can’t have enough words to thank it, and say how blessed my life was with it. It taught me the meaning of responsibility. Really, pets can be the best thing happening to you. Better than humans. They don’t know treachery or betrayal, they don’t talk back, they just sit dumb and eat, and expect you to feed them…which is funny, cause their life depends on you. And that small thing makes you responsible. It will stay with my parents now. Poor bird, will probably sit and wonder what went wrong, why I don’t feed him anymore. But birds and animals don’t understand things like career and ambition, do they?

Ambition is a funny thing. The more you go to the top, the more lonely you are. The more you rise up, the more you leave things behind. But still you go on, cause that is the trip, the high, the intoxication of it. You can’t afford to stop, nor do you wish to.

Anyway, I am probably sounding increasingly like the pre-revolution Russian novelists. Dark, grim and sour. It is not that bad either.

I won’t be writing in this blog till I reach New Zealand as I will be busy with last moment journey prep, and shopping. There are so many quotes coming to my mind right now, to finish off this post, from Ulysses, ” To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield… ” to ” Bring me the horizon… ” by our good ol’ Captain Jack.

But as they say, it is best to express in music when words fail you. If there was to be a melodic expression of how I am feeling now, THIS would be it.

So long. See you on the other side of the pond! 🙂