Where are you from?

When you meet new people, and you know nothing about them, you ask them generic questions to get to know them more. You try to find out where they live in the city, where have they worked before, what college are they from and all sorts of things. Just to get a sense of who that person is. Being new in my office here, I am still going through this process, even though it's already been a month. Even now there are people I don't know at all, and I have the very same conversation for the umpteenth time. It actually runs on autopilot now. And whenever I am stumped I just bring up Pepper, and my dog loving extended team just melts away.

So, yeah a lot of back and forth conversations with a lot of people. Yesterday, in one such similar interaction, someone asked me a question and I didn't know how to answer it. I had about 5 different ways I could approach the problem in. She simply asked me "Where are you from?"

This seems like a pretty basic question. How could a question so simple, leave me stammering. The reason is that there are so many places I come from, so many places I belong to, that I didn't know where to start. If you had asked me this question say around 6-7 years ago, I would've instantly replied, Lucknow, because that is where I am originally from. Now when she asked me where I am from, the following list formed in my head,
  • I'm from Lucknow, if you mean where are I am originally from
  • I'm from BITS Pilani Goa if you mean where I did my undergraduate
  • I'm from Zinnov if you mean where I was before here
  • I'm from Bangalore if you mean where I lived before I moved here
And these are just four options that came to me in the first instant right there. The list can go on given a few extra seconds. As we grow older and move to newer places and meet different people, our belongingness also changes. I don't just belong to one place or group. I come from all over the place, I am no longer a part of just one group or place. It's like Horcruxes. Every place or group or person I belong to has a part of me with them! And we carry a part of them with us. We no longer belong to just one place!

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