There is always a sense of melancholiness associated with moving apartments / houses. All of one’s life’s thoughts, dreams, hopes, aspirations, happiness and sadness are suddenly neatly packaged into boxes. One also opens older boxes , which one packed a long time ago, thereby recovering memories from an age gone by. A old birthday card your sister sent becomes especially poignant, when the current state of that relationship has hit a bit of a trough, the random donations one made to hospitals (was I capable of those acts of kindness at one point? whatever happened to all that kindness now? Why cannot one be kinder to one’s parents atleast, who have done so much for their children?), the photocopied books in myriad subjects like math, music, Indian philosophy and cricket (looking at these from 10 years ago, I am staggered that I had actually wanted to read these dense, abstruse tomes at one point in my life), the romantic idealism of one’s early twenties gives way to a more painful sense of reality at 30. This was supposed to be the decade that separated boyhood from manhood in some sense. I am struggling to demarcate that mentally. A feeling remains of not having “grown up”, (in the truest, deepest sense of that word). Although, I loved books and reading and learning, I never thought I would spend my entire twenties in graduate school. Relationships, unlike the beautiful subjects like math and music are messy and complicated. One has no idea of what is reasonable and what is not. Naively, one wishes to marry happiness rather than a person. (Ramana Maharishi’s prescient observation that all beings desire happiness at all points of time is the natural, immutable law valid for all time, comes to mind). Falling in love though is easy, abstracted love is easier than the concrete actual, messy thing. Do these crushes / infatuations etc that strike you unannounced leaving you with powerful feelings and exhaustion actually have an inner, deeper meaning or are they completely random and capricious? Is love at first sight, the kind that they show in movies and the kind that one reads about in Shakespearean plays actually true in real life? (It does seem true when it hits you, but for a guy like me, the lines between reality and fantasy were always a bit blurred). Nostalgia has grown. So has sentimentality. Watching older cricket videos from one’s childhood moves me to tears (which cricket lover wouldn’t be moved by the silken, graceful, languid and delicate touch of Mohammad Azharuddin, what does one do when one loves cricket to such an extent that simply watching a two minute video of a tour game: Australians vs West Indies Board President’s Eleven and watching Fawad Ahmed bowl beautiful, classical leg spin and watching those young West Indian batsman take on the Australian bowlers fearlessly fills one with so much joy). The feeling remains though of what could have been, had one concentrated on the math and not just floated like a leaf in the whirlpool of life, allowing it to take you in the direction of its choosing. Having not built up the stamina to keep at mathematics amidst all distractions during one’s formative years, one really struggles to dig deeper for extra ounces of strength when one’s research hits some rough spots.