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Last evening the L&M and I were sitting in our third floor balcony and watching children of our neighbours play in the area in front of the apartment block. Full of energy as children usually are they were chasing a ball and each other, not to mention climbing over flimsy metal fencing not meant to be climbed over. The last activity had the L&M worried and led to him warning the kids to refrain from climbing the metal trellis.

Looking at their energetic and naughty selves, I remarked to the L&M that soon, before we even knew it, the now two and three year olds who confined their time to supervised playtime in the park area would be joining them and running around wild in just such a manner. He rolled his eyes and agreed and we both laughed.

That’s when another thought struck me. Imagine, I said to the L&M in awe, in a few years time these kids here would be going to college. He agreed. And then they’d be joining work, I continued, all of it right in front of our very eyes! It seemed remarkable to me.

It may not mean anything special to many. Bur for me it seems amazing. You see, from the time I was born I have been moving places, never staying anywhere longer than two or three years. In fact in recent times even though I have been in the same city for quite a while, I have moved houses so many times that it amounts to the same thing.

Never have I stayed anywhere long enough to see anyone grow up. In fact each time we have settled into a house it has been with the knowledge that it is but a temporary residence. That knowledge seemed to influence the connections we made, not just on our part, but those families amongst whom we settled who always saw us as outsiders.

Now though we are in our own place and won’t be moving anymore. There is already that feeling among many residents of the apartment block that we are here for the long haul. That means that the L&M and I have EVERY CHANCE (provided we live long enough) of watching the kids playing below grow up as if they were our own children. That is going to be an absolutely new experience to look forward to.

© Shail Mohan 2022