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Blog // Thoughts
December 12, 2010

Returning To Delhi

I just didn’t think it would be so tough. In September I returned to Delhi, for the first time since leaving in mid-06. It was an emotional roller-coaster. Of course, it was wonderful to see the ways the city has developed and to reconnect with old friends and familiar places. But, walking through the new […]

I just didn’t think it would be so tough.

In September I returned to Delhi, for the first time since leaving in mid-06. It was an emotional roller-coaster. Of course, it was wonderful to see the ways the city has developed and to reconnect with old friends and familiar places.

But, walking through the new malls and stores, travelling along the recently finished highways and even passing through the new airport all made me wonder how much easier life in Delhi would be now.

Thinking back to my time in Delhi, I still wonder about the things I could have done better. Did I do my best while changing careers, running a home, or managing my finances? So many simple, day to day chores became drawn out, emotional dramas.

When we lived in Delhi, trips out of the country, to the UK, US or Australia were also major shopping expeditions for things that were not available locally. We brought back a lot of stuff from stores like Mothercare, Early Learning Centre and Pumpkin Patch – all of whom now have multiple branches in Delhi. Of course, that’s just stuff. But, as a parent of a young child, it’s hard not to think that stuff really matters, especially when you run low on diapers or dummies.

Looking back, it’s a hard thing to judge. Watching my daughter mix and match Indian and Western fashion on this trip, adapt to the accent and enjoy the food I was reminded that her experience as a young child in Delhi built a well of adaptability and resilience that may serve her well into adulthood.

I know she misses our home in Delhi as much as I do. Occasionally, when we talk about those times, she will mention the sand pit I promised to build her; a promise I never fulfilled.

It was something we spoke about when she was four and I never thought much of it. She had so many other opportunities to play in sand, at her nursery and on beach holidays. But, I now realise it meant a lot to her.

Of course, it would have been nice to have more retail convenience when we lived in Delhi. But, if I had the chance again, I would spend some time in the yard, shovel in hand, building that sand pit.

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