Or How can a small country bug the hell out of me?
Unto them was born a daughter in the autumn of 1984. Big Brother was temporarily not watching as the gunshots rang out in Delhi and the Iron Lady fell. But, Maj. and Mrs. George’s attention was held instead by the little fist that clenched their fingers.
Her mother stroked her little curls and said contemplatively, “What should we name her?”
The Major was in deep thought. “Well, it is but tradition that we call her Susan after your mother and George would be her surname. Of course, we wouldn’t be real Mallus if we didn’t have a name that rhymes with her sister. It wouldn’t be satisfying.”
It was thus decided in a hospital in the city of Patiala, Punjab that I would be named Shruti Susan George.
I grew up and by 5 years of age had acquired my first passport. It was the cause of many weird glances when at the age of 12 I went to Singapore, looking nothing like the cherub on the first page.
The passport expired in 1999 and it was time for a new one. I finally got it- pristine and the blue covers gleaming- not knowing the mauling it would be getting in the next 10 years of its existence.
While the passport saw a few South Asian and Middle Eastern countries during the first 6 years, life had taken its owner from school to engineering to the Well Known Institute of Management between Jayanagar and Arekere. Life saw a few more turns and I found myself destined for a consultancy and working in, of all places, Europe.
The Firm took care of the work permit and in June I was in Brussels, the capital of Europe… searching for a home.
Ixelles, it was then, 1.5 km from office, nearly 100 m2 of house- fully furnished and ready to empty my bank account every month.
Oh god. I hadn’t learnt yet!