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A Home Away From Home

By Dr Pratiksha Kamath

"Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargadapi Gariyasi" is a hemistich of a Sanskrit shloka from Ramayana which means Mother and motherland are superior even to Heaven.

For each individual land where the person lives is of utmost importance. Here's my story where I am trying to give my 2 cents on my experience of 2 lands , one on which I was born and another which nurtured me.

Growing up in UAE, I have seen UAE develop from nothing but just a desert to an emirate with multi storey buildings and having numerous malls. I have even seen Burj Khalifa being built from scratch to the tallest building. It has the largest mall also “ The Dubai Mall ''. When I came back to India for my higher studies I had a culture shock. I started getting homesick as UAE had nurtured me for all my childhood. So by now you all might have guessed what I’m speaking about?…..Hmmmm..U guessed it right I’m speaking about my second home UAE. Kyunki chahe kitna bhi dur jao..phir bhi dil hai Hindustani !!

I still remember I was a small kid and the only memory I remember as a kid was me landing in Dubai airport with my mom and sister. My Dad used to work there, and he had come to pick us at the airport. He was all excited to see his little toddler( obviously me) and I unaware of anything trying to handle my oversized jeans shorts !!

I and my sister used to play day in and day out. I was very naughty used to get stuck under the table etc. Then it was the D day I was done being a kid staying at home it was time for me to put my first step into school. I was taken for admission and I got a seat in DPS (Delhi Private School). Whatever I have grown up to become today the credit goes to this school. I got the best of everything here. From getting the best education, to the best friends ( people say friendships don’t last,as the distance increases but when I count back even after so many years our bond still remains the same), the best teachers whose values built me into a Doctor today. Thanks to my teachers and my friends support I was able to get the scholar badge every year. I miss everything about UAE from the weekends( we used to go to new places like al ain, Khor fakkan etc.)

Speaking about my friends, I fall short of words. They were the best. We were a gang of 6. Known to be the naughtiest in the class, yet everyone loved us. We sneaked snacks into the class, we used to bunk, used to use chits to converse during class hours, and shared our lunch everyday with each other. In short, more than friends I had got sisters for a lifetime, who had my back in all my highs and lows. I used to get a scholar-badge and there were my 5 idiot friends cheering for me when I was on the stage.

And then one day I finished my 10th grade and I had to come back to India for my higher studies. It was the hardest time for me to leave a place that felt like home and my friends who felt like family.

As soon as I landed in India with a heavy heart, I was relieved I have my family here, my grandparents etc but somewhere I still missed UAE. I wasn’t able to cope up

With friendships here because people here were different I started missing my gang ( We used to video call each other, and that used to be the best time of the day for all of us).

No matter what, I never got friends like those till today and I still wish that one day I’ll go back to UAE.

But still India is India it wins everyone’s heart. I finally learnt about the huge culture and diversity of India. Though I used to come to India every vacation I started knowing it more when I started staying here. I had just a glimpse of it when I used to come on my vacation and used to cry every time I had to leave my grandparents and cousins here and go back to UAE. But then I never knew I would cry for UAE someday. Now I can proudly say I have two homes, one which gave me birth and the other which nurtured me.

While one taught me all the western culture, the other one always put the desi tadka. Though I miss UAE, I have come closer to my family now and that has tried to fill the empty space in my heart but I will be the first one to go back and live those days as adulting has killed the childhood in all of us somewhere.

Hence Dubai is my home away from home.

By Dr Pratiksha Kamath

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