India – D day
The day is here, Ira and her mother are moving to a new country tonight. Ira, who knew this day would arrive sooner or later, wished it would be later. Her father relocated about six months ago, he has found an elite school for her, and a beautiful house awaits his darling wife and his princess. Ira is excited to live with both her parents again, but the sorrow of parting with her friends and grandparents who live nearby is almost physical.
Her mother summons her, playtime is over. Ira gazes longingly at the park where she spent countless evenings playing hide and seek and swinging for hours with her friends. ‘Why me?‘ she broods. Her mom is dealing with her own turbulent emotions. She misses her husband dearly, but this is home; these are her friends; and her parents live nearby. This is where she feels safe, secure and comforted – her Hygge. Both mother and daughter want this evening to last forever, yet want it over quickly. They sit down on a park bench, lost in thought. Friends enjoying their routine walk, on a pleasant evening stop by to wish them well, tears shed, goodbyes said, there isn’t much left to say.
Soon it is time to lock the house where they have lived for the last 3 years, the house they spent the lock-down in. The place they call ‘home’. Ira’s grandparents see them off with countless hugs and kisses.
A foreign land – D day + 1
Ira’s father cranes his neck trying to spot them.’ Is this my 6-year-old? She looks much taller, kids grow up so fast!’ – he wonders. He embraces his family tightly. Together at last! This moment is worth the wait. He knows it is the right choice. Living abroad will give them a wider perspective and new experiences. These are the prime years of their working life; the exchange rate advantage will help them attain their retirement goals faster.
Ira chats fervently about everything he has missed. She breaks off when he brings the trolley to a halt beside a gleaming grey SUV. The parents observe her with bated breath. ‘Appa, why are we stopping here?’ she inquires. ‘This is our new car, I took delivery last weekend.’ – He replies. ‘A new car, but you never told us.’ –she squeals. Her mother tries to hide her smile. Ira circles it a few times, ‘This is bigger than the one back home. It is like Ashita’s car. Look, it even has a sunroof! I love it!’ – She declares, her face beaming with delight. The luggage is loaded, seat belts are fastened, and they are off to their new house.
He knows there are hurdles before they get past their homesickness, but hopes this will be ‘Home’ soon. They will find their Hygge once more – God willing!
HYGGE AS A NOUN
a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)