My fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman has recently relocated to California and I was inspired to suggest this topic by that move. Please go over to Shackman’s blog to see how he tackles the topic.

My pre-marriage and the first year after that was life living out of a suitcase from the age of 16 for me. I had relocated a few times between Hyderabd and Chennai/Mumbai and also Ahmedabad before my marriage in November 1968. Relocating was simply a matter of packing my suitcase and moving to a hotel, hostel or paying guest accommodation and did not make for much effort or difficulty.

The first home we set up after marriage was in Delhi and since it was for a stay of just a few months, we had taken a barsati on rent and hired furniture and bare minimum utensils and a stove but both of us lived off suitcases.

The first proper home that we lived in was in Mumbai between 1970 and mid 1973 when we acquired furniture, cooking utensils, linen, etc and when we had to move to Kolkata, we were exposed for the first time to relocating with major packing, discarding etc but, the redeeming feature of the exercise was that we could hire professional packers and movers who did the dirty work, stored the stuff till we found accommodation at Kolkata and unpacked for us too.

From that first move, we relocated to Kerala, back to Mumbai on three occasions, Delhi and Bengaluru and finally to Pune in 1990 where we bought our home where I continue to live till date. During these relocations we moved and set up new homes on eight separate occasions till we put in our final roots.

I had to relocate on two separate occasions afterwards to Tirupur but since it was to furnished accommodation on both occasions I simply had to pack a suitcase. Whenever Urmeela came to stay with me there, she too simply had to come with a packed suitcase. So those two relocations were not really relocations in the true sense.

The only major disruption that we experienced during the relocations was in the schooling of our son Ranjan which, we once even had to solve by admitting him to a boarding school for three years. In retrospect, those three years were also the most disturbing for both of us despite frequent meetings with him at his school as well as his coming home for his vacations. Another experience that I would not wish on anyone.

I can therefore confidently assert that I am a seasoned and well-experienced relocator. I would not like to do that again though as I am now too well ensconced in my comfort zone in Pune where it will be three decades next year, since we relocated.


Relocating, as it is normally understood, really started for me only from 1973. Before that, my late wife and I had once set up home in Delhi in a barsati and had furnished it with hired furniture and some basic kitchen utensils. When we had to leave that we simply gave back the hired furniture and gave away the utensils to the help that we had hired for the few months that we were there. Before that, I had lived off a suitcase for well nigh six years as a bachelor and two of those were spent in a hostel while studying for my Masters in Business Management.

After the Delhi posting I was deputed to coordinate an all India Market Research project for eight months of near non stop touring including working during weekends. Urmeela went to stay with her mother during those months and after I finished my project I was posted in Mumbai where we set up our first real home and bought furniture, utensils, etc in 1970. After three and a half years of stay there while our son Ranjan was born, we moved to Kolkata in 1973 which was the first relocation.

That relocation was followed by six relocations before we finally put down roots in Pune in 1990. A total of eight relocations after marriage.

I set up home on two other occasions in South again though the home in Pune continued to be operational as Ranjan was there and had to be provided with a home. Since neither Urmeela nor Ranjan was comfortable with Tamil, the local language where I set up home, I ran a bachelor’s home with periodic visits from my late mother and Urmeela and on two occasions by Ranjan. There was no relocation involved as on both occasions I simply moved into fully furnished and equipped homes and simply had to pack my suitcase to get back to Pune.

I can therefore claim to be quite a veteran of relocation and can vouch for its advantages and disadvantages.

The biggest disadvantage is the havoc it can play with one’s children’s education. We solved it by sending Ranjan to a boarding school which luckily for us was not too difficult due to having access to one of India’s best with fairly easy admission. Others have not been so lucky and I have seen a lot of frustration in families due to this aspect of relocating.

The other disadvantages are local languages, a major problem in India with multiple languages, cuisine and climate changes. In retrospect however, these usually turn out to be advantages for having exposed one to these influences and in the process making one more cosmopolitan.

Advantages are in the friends one makes in the new places and in our case, these have turned out to be long term relationships, exposure to places that one would normally not see otherwise and also to cultures, festivals and cuisine that are different from one’s normal. Overriding these advantages was the inevitable junking of stuff accumulated during the stay there to become lighter for the packing and unpacking!

And for a marketing man like me, the different locales were priceless experiences when I eventually took charge as India head.

Today, my WhatsApp and FaceBook activity is governed by communications from all over India thanks to my various postings. I am richer for that and grateful that I was given the opportunities.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the same topic.

A Winter’s Tale.


I have experienced some of the coldest winters in places like Aberdeen and Zurich as well as on top of the Alps on a weekend trip just to experience it. But the winter that I will now share with you was special and oft remembered and shared with others for its sheer magic.

Immediately after our marriage and honeymoon, I was posted to Delhi to set up an efficient Trademark Protection cell because my then employer was having a lot of problems of infringement, counterfeit and passing off of their trademarks. I was given some cursory training with our solicitors in Mumbai and was asked to report to Delhi on the 15th of December 1968, a date that I will never forget.

While my late wife, then a brand new bride just getting used to the funny ways of a Management Trainee husband working for a British company, had previous experience of winters in North India, having been a teacher in Patiala for a couple of years, I had never been to the North of India during winters.

Neither of us had enough financial resources between the two of us to properly equip ourselves for Delhi’s winter, nor had wardrobes geared for that kind of weather. I had hit rock bottom with my resources with expenditure on the wedding and our honeymoon. We simply decided that love will conquer all and landed in Delhi in the late evening when there was a power cut and there were no lights in the railway station. The company had arranged for us to be met at the station and escorted to a hotel and we managed to reach the hotel without mishap but felt the cold of Delhi all right.

My first priority was to get paying guest accommodation as I could not afford to live in a hotel and I was very lucky to find a wonderful landlady thanks to the help given to us by a friend who had lived in Delhi for many years. The accommodation consisted of one room on the first floor of a two storied semi detached  home and one room on the terrace called a Barsati.  (A Barsati (meaning for rains) apartment means a small rooftop room or a small apartment on the top floor of a house.) The bathroom facilities were on the terrace and there was a lean-to shed to organize a kitchen if we wanted.

On day three we moved to the place and when the land lady saw our luggage, she was astounded to see that we had no bedding, quilts or anything like that and asked us what our plans were. When I said that I intended to hire some furniture mattresses etc, she promptly guided me to a regular hirer of such items whose clientele was usually people getting guests for special occasions like family weddings etc. The same friend who had introduced me to the landlady also gave some bed sheets to tide us over and for the next ten days till my next payday, we managed with just that.

From January 1969, with both of us with slightly increased funding, we were comfortable with warm clothes, proper sheets etc and with hired furniture we were able to set up our first home in that Barsati. Urmeela even arranged to get some potted plants to brighten up the terrace and with the landlady, teaching her how to cook, she even managed to learn to make tea, breakfast and dinner though, we had most of our meals out because she too went off to work in a studio and I to my office and in the evenings we would go to one of the many nearby eateries called dhabhas for inexpensive but nutritious food.

We were posted to Delhi again in 1980 to 1983 and enjoyed three wonderful winters there again, but the first winter without proper clothes, inadequate funds and a makeshift home, was truly a winter’s tale which coincided with our very first home, that we reminisced about often sharing our story with other young newly married couple facing similar problems.

This topic was suggested by Maria the gaelikaa for the weekly Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where currently eight of us write on the same topic every Friday.  I hope that you enjoyed my contribution to that effort.  The seven other bloggers who write regularly are, in alphabetical order,  AshokgaelikaaLin, Maxi, PadmumShackman and The Old Fossil. Do drop in on their blogs and see what their take is on this week’s topic. Since some of them may post late, or not at all this week, do give some allowance for that too!