Things I have left behind..

What I left behind..

What I left behind..

You and I have left behind a lot of things as we moved ahead in life. It is the natural order and while I do not regret the small changes in my life, I see the many memories made and feelings and patterns emerging out of the days gone by. The ones that do not find a trace in my life of today. Sealed in an envelope of the past and stamped with time, they have been packed and dispatched. 

Mannerisms that I left behind

As I spilled a cup of milk while making rice pudding this evening, I remember how I was the most clumsy one at home. I was warned many times to not step into the kitchen. Unknowingly, I would drop things or while opening a box with a slight twist, the jar would come crashing on the floor. Anywhere close in the vicinity and I was told to sit quietly and watch. Moving around however cautiously, never worked.

Life that I left behind

I was seventeen when I left home. Away from my parents, I stepped out to make a career and do all that my seventeen-year-old mind and heart had thought for a bright future. Coming from a small city, scared about a lot of things around, and always hoping that nothing goes wrong, it was the independent life.  A life that I had thought of. Hostel, friends and Indian roadways and railways to travel back home for festivals and semester breaks. Those days of queuing up and filling forms to get a berth on the train. 

Friends who I left behind

I have always liked meeting new people. But I still have the same close ones I had then. I can’t get close to new people or maybe they can’t get close to me. So, the set of friends never expanded. I guess I have one from each phase of life. No more or less. I met many wonderful people over years who made a lot of difference to my life by their presence.  Those smiles, the endless chatter or opening up of hearts seems like an old melody today. They moved on and I moved on. I miss them and I always wonder why I could not hold on to them. 

Food that I left behind

I changed as my food changed. From all the cities where I have lived, today the menu at home comprises many things. From paneer to dosas, from sabudana khichdi to poha, it’s all but different from the food I had when I was growing up. There are no kebabs, no fish curries and no pooris with mutton curry. The Mughlai paratha lost its way and the cheese egg sandwich found a home. Drinking water from the glass seems like an effort today. The leftover daal is now kneaded but rarely stuffed. I left behind more than I thought I ever would.

Roads that I left behind 

When I was sixteen, I met with an accident. There were no mobile phones but people in the area knew who I was. I was quickly taken home and given the first aid. Today, I carry my business card and save phone numbers for no one would know who am I, if I ever collapsed even near my office. There is no colony and no next-door neighbors in the real sense. With multiple shortcuts and one ways, there is no one road that leads to Papa’s college. 

The person I left behind

Fighting and arguing my point but I still a bit jittery about the approach. I still say Yes when I want to say No. I speak my mind more now than before and I have an opinion, almost always. My dreams are still guarded and not shared even with the closest ones around. Fighting for myself remains a challenge till date but parts of the process have improved. I have left behind more than I can think of and admit to. 

As I sip my ginger tea and pen my thoughts, I can’t remember from where this love for well-brewed ginger tea came. My parents have been tea lovers for long but I wasn’t the one longing for a cup two times a day. I remember making that one cup in the morning when I used to get up to study. Highlighting and making notes on the book, a hot cup of tea ensured I don’t doze off.  Ginger was for winters and not all the year round. 

I have left behind over three decades of life. Moving a handful of cities and meeting many new people, I feel having lived as I had never thought of. I never thought of cycling to Yoga or getting married, having a blog and letting go the dream of designing a VLSI chip or calling Bangalore my home and clarifying where my parents live.

That rice pudding I was making just got burnt while I was typing this and somethings never change. 

Still, many things that I have left behind. 

Writing for the The Daily Post, Discover Challenge. 

77 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good one.

  2. I loved reading this. Everything sounds familiar. It’s great to have connected with you. 🙂
    I have left behind many friends, or perhaps they have left me behind- friends who were the best getaways from reality in a particular phase of life… I too have had a small set of close friends… I have a problem in making new ones…
    Regarding food and home, everything is the same… I still haven’t left my mom’s nest… returned home (Bhubaneswar) after a short 5 month training at Mysore … 🙂

  3. Things change, and things change us. We can never be the same people we were six months ago, and it doesn’t make sense to want to be the person you were in the past. Adapting to a new situation is the rhythm of life, and hence a must. But it does bring back a tinge of pain to see how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve changed.

    Beautifully penned, Parul. I’m thankful for that rice pudding disaster that motivated you to write this post! 😀

  4. Bienu says:

    Hi Parul, As soon as I got alert about this post, I shared it because it had word ‘Hostel’ in the opening para. I knew it will be something nostalgic, down memory lane…& how true I was…it is indeed a great thought to pen down what we have left behind…what we have achieved. You have beautifully blended the two worlds!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Loved reading your article! Parul

  6. Priyanka says:

    Parul, read your article after a long time. Loved it. I think you have written what each of us goes through, or has to go through, sometime or the other in our lives. 30 yrs.. long time… and so much changes, but not so much.
    I think you core values still remain the same. However, your fringe beliefs are either strengthened or weakened by the experiences you encounter throughout your life. You start believing in deeply about the things, which were more of as a wonder or a passing thought in childhood.. ones which you felt about- something is not correct, it should be like this, or like that… Your rationalisation power becomes stronger. Maybe that is called maturity – and it comes with experiences, not age. One common thing, between you and me- both of us shed our comfort zones in early life, and took a dive in an unknown world. A world from where we gathered experiences -good and bad. We survived through those, and hence we are the human beings, we are today. Had we stayed in our comfort areas, under the shadow of someone, I think neither of us would have been the women we are today! Struggle leads to growth which leads to change.. Keep writing, loved this abstract piece.

  7. Debbie D. says:

    People and circumstances are ever-changing. It’s amazing to contemplate life’s journey. I enjoyed reading yours, Parul.
    Debbie D. recently posted…HAPPENINGS AND HOLIDAYSMy Profile

  8. Ramya says:

    Nice one Parul. I think, everyone who reads this can relate very well to their life. Me too have left behind many, changed a lot, did many which i never dreamed of, acquired many new friends, visited new places, got new interests… the list doesn’t end.

  9. Geetika Saxena says:

    Such a beautiful topic to write on. I was imagining every bit you wrote – a young girl, travelling, alone, new food….
    Such personal topics are so enriching 🙂

  10. Hi Parul, great post. I have observed thatsome vegetables that I loathed as a kid, I find quite tolerable now.And occasionally, they have become my new favorites! Wonder whether it is age taking over or that we have become more malleable!

  11. shubhangi says:

    Such a contemplative post! makes me reflect on all the things that I’ve left behind. Changes are inevitable and they shape our future the way it was intended to be…so yea, having no regrets is the right attitude! lovely post!

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  12. Roopa says:

    Beautifully written Parul…loved the way you touched on each aspect of the things which are no longer part of our current life and the things we left behind, defines who we are today as the roots were set in then..Parents, siblings, friends, small town these were the things which genuinely leaves us happy, as we have lived everyday without worrying about tomorrow.. Lovely writeup, it took me back to my small town.. Thanks for sharing and hope you were able to savour that pudding..

  13. This is perhaps the best of your posts I’ve read as it as a deep touch of melancholy in it. It took me to those things which have changed in my own life too. Love your words, Parul!

  14. My Era says:

    Loved….loved…loved this post Parul <3
    It touched a chord because one way or the other I could relate to every point you made. We move on in life, pick up so many new habits and perceptions but somehow in bits and pieces our old, naive self has a way of reappearing from time to time.
    My Era recently posted…Shifting FocusMy Profile

  15. vineeta says:

    what to say ? you made me speechless. i too started pondering over my left over things and tears rolled on my cheeks ……………….

  16. Ramya Rao says:

    We are no longer the person we once were and yet some things haven’t changed. I am person who appears all kick ass but never says a no although it is required. My parents love plain tea and I picked up a taste from ginger tea tea from my friend. I know I will change more down the lane. But it is all learning. Maturity kinda. Right?

  17. Geets says:

    I missed you around. And haven’t we all have left things behind in order to be where we are today or where we’re headed to? It sometimes haunts me to have left certain things behind, but when I look at the reality I feel contented. And whatever happens, happens for a reason, isn’t it?
    A post you’ve written so beautifully!


  18. Rajlakshmi says:

    The things we have left behind aren’t exactly gone. They are with us in the lessons we learnt, in cherished memories … change is good… we learn so many things about ourselves… the things we are capable of… things that were once impossible. I absolutely loved this reflection post 🙂 enjoy your ginger tea 🙂
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…It’s not a Double Chin, it’s Swag Overload !!My Profile

  19. Mabel Kwong says:

    Beautiful post, Parul. It came back full circle in the end with the rice pudding. I hope some of it was salvaged… 😀 Very nice to see you adapting as you moved in life and making the best wherever you go. New connections along the way and new loves in life – learning so much, learning every day 🙂

  20. bellybytes says:

    A lovely trip down memory lane. Maturity brings a new level of awareness and appreciation of the past which shapes our today.

  21. Vidya Sury says:

    Interesting how life changes along with our preferences. While we continue to be influenced by various things we grew up with, depending on how flexible we are, it is easy to embrace new things and adapt, I guess. I’ve always loved change, the freshness it brings. Yet, I still have my close friends circle intact – people I met when I was 8 years old and continue to chill with. Same with food. Most of all, I love the learning that comes with change. And letting go of certain things is inevitable, no?
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Practice the GLAD techniqueMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Yep. I am also friends with people I went to school at the age of 8. I love that piece. We know each other, our homes and everything. Such happy feeling. Thanks Vidya!

  22. Aditi says:

    Beautifully written, Parul! As they say, change is the only constant and though it is difficult to leave certain things behind, it is all part of life…of who we become. Loved the nostalgic feel of the post…about few friends I do wonder too.
    Aditi recently posted…Snow, Express trains and Cheese fondue #SwitzerlandTravels Part 2My Profile

  23. Soumya says:

    You know Parul, it is important to leave things behind and move ahead. That’s how you make room for the new.

    You are at a wonderful place today and each one of those things you left behind have helped you get here.
    Soumya recently posted…Black MagicMy Profile

  24. This is so beautiful, Parul…Yes, we left so many things behind. I left behind a naive person who trusted everyone, who believed in friendship, who was not bitter due to some life experiences, eating Bengali Food everyday and so much more..Growing up and leaving home at a young age does that to you but it also gave us so much..And yes, drinking water from a glass is such a effort now 🙂

  25. Lata Sunil says:

    Changes.. changes.. thats life. I liked the way you wrote it down. Led me to some of my own thoughts. A change I wish that did not happen was ‘Road that I left behind’. That is a sad one.. not sure if we are closer or more distant from people around us.

    • Parul Thakur says:

      I wonder about that too Lata. I like that I made my choices but I feel should I have stayed closer? But then would I been happy? You see the trend? The ifs and the buts. Guess what happens has a reason.

  26. Shilpi says:

    The lesser the baggage smoother is the journey.
    Lovely post Parul 🙂

    • Parul Thakur says:

      So true. Thanks Shilpi 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      I do not agree. Not to offend you but baggage is always piling up.. but yes, intangibly. And that weight can’t be shed; Keeps on piling in the storage cabin called cerebral cortex or something like it. That baggage is the reason this lovely post came out. Whether the journey is smooth or not due to that baggage is debatable and varies from person to person.

  27. Rajiv Bakshi says:

    I still think you are going through your old friends , which you met via your Blog . Love your Blog & love your writing @dear Parul . ( dear is all in fun )

  28. Enjoyed reading this Parul. Nice flow with words and glimpses of one’s lives

  29. Ankita says:

    Beautiful post!
    It took me back to Life 🙂

  30. Deepankar says:

    Change is only constant. Things that we all hv left behind n evolved are no doubt nostalgic but the d decision to leave n pursue solely rests on us. The quantum of experience that we hv amassed during this wonderful journey of life is priceless though it is at cost of the things that were precious at some point of time…great article 👍

  31. Obsessivemom says:

    Growing up often takes us by surprise. There are so many things I’d never thought I’d do or say and yet that’s exactly what I end up doing. I cannot remember either when tea became such part of my routine or when I learnt to speak my mind or how I picked up making friends. Oh and I still burn my vegetables too – the rare days that I try to cook. Lovely nostalgic post Parul.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Three films and a weekendMy Profile

  32. Val says:

    Long may the changes occur, Parul, for they are what tell us we are still alive. Change is natural – to everything in nature.

  33. Alok Singhal says:

    Made me wonder what things I left behind and If I had any regrets.
    I don’t seem to have made any terrible decisions…and that’s what counts in the end.

    Some things never changed for me too, and Saru highlights them often 😊

  34. Your trip down the memory lane reveals how much you have grown….There are thing we outgrow, people we lose contact with, places that were once home become distant now….but that is what life is all about….going back sometimes makes for a pleasurable trip and other times, gives us pain….By the way, ginger tea is something I have fallen in love with too and I don’t know how this happened…..:)…Happy Tea-time to you….:)

  35. Honest post Parul and get to know more about you. You seem to be someone with clarity and despite that we leave things behind, there is still a part of us in that and it defines us, I feel. I still say Yes and I wanna say No. But, its true I have left behind so many things, a past that I don’t wanna go back to!

  36. Esha says:

    Beautiful post, Parul. Loved the way your thoughts flowed to bring back the time you left behind. Resonates with my thoughts too…from that past we evolve and come to think of it, this day too shall be left behind one day, isn’t it? Hard to keep up with time.

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Thank you Esha. Yes, very hard to keep up with time. So many things change that it becomes almost normal and then one day when many years have gone by, it all comes back.

  37. Dashy says:

    This makes me wonder all the changes that is going to happen ahead in my life, now that I’m leaving behind school and home. I only have a vague idea, but I’ll probably have surprises too I suppose. Of course, in a mere two years a lot has changed and unexpected things have happened. Changes happen all the time don’t they? Your depiction of it is beautiful. Fingers crossed for the days ahead!
    Dashy recently posted…A to Z of me #WritingWednesdaysMy Profile

    • Parul Thakur says:

      Darshana – 5 years from now, there will be more changes for me too. When we are in the thick of it – it’s hardly noticeable but as you look back it has changed. Guess that’s how life is. For you – just enjoy and don’t worry about anything else 🙂

  38. Sid says:

    Sometimes the things that you never think will happen, are the things that do happen.
    And sometimes, even if you’ve left some things behind, they’ve all played a crucial role in getting you to where you are today. Our past inadvertently plays a role in our present and subsequently our future.But yes, it’s a journey of self-discovery, this life – and perhaps, identifying how you’ve changed and evolved is an important step in it too.
    Sid recently posted…Would you like to know me better?My Profile

  1. August 3, 2016

    […] lives we all lead. How we want to grow up and then wish to become a kid again. As we look back, the many things we have left behind and how these things make us who we are. Our experiences, life stories, failures and then our […]

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