In the Harry Potter universe, there is a clever mechanism inside the wizard bank, Gringotts, called the Thief's Downfall. Everyone who enters the bank to withdraw gold from a vault has to pass through it. It is present in the form of a waterfall, and it breaks all enchantments and concealment charms. Once you pass the Thief's Downfall, you will go to the other side in your truest form possible. For me, moving away from home felt like that.
Despite the acquaintances you make through internet and taking the road most traveled, you're on your own when it comes to a new place. You don't have a best friend, you don't see familiar faces when you go to the supermarket, you have to ask for directions, you don't look like the people around you, nobody recognizes you as the guy from that quiz. Robbed of all superficiality, knowledge of familiar territory, and the warmth of home, perhaps the airport's security check was life providing me with it's own version of Thief's Downfall.
I have never been away from home (as I reiterate for the millionth time), and this move was probably the first time I went out of my comfort zone. It was a huge reality check for me; in terms of what home meant to me, what the people in my life meant to me, how many people I cared about, how many people cared about me.
To be honest, I don't like making new friends. I am very resistant to change. I like the people I always have been with and I firmly believe it is silly to start from scratch all over again. The last 8 months of my undergrad was spent in idleness, where I could text anyone at any time of the day and would get replies. There was no lengthy conversation or discussions about anything because we were meeting almost everyday. I was meeting my school friends every weekend. I took it for granted, I liked that life. Now, everyone is busy. I feel robbed.
This is me learning a very important lesson, something that I might never have learnt if I hadn't moved away from home. The lesson isn't about people leaving me or people finding other people, it is about the importance of forging new connections wherever I am. The difference between knowing someone and being friends with someone.
On an unrelated note, classroom felt the same way. There is no professor who hates me because I asked some cocky question in semester 3. Here I am new, another Indian student in the sea of incoming Indian students. Again, no preconceived opinions, no baggage that pulls me down. It is fun to start fresh, to make a new name for myself starting from scratch.
I believe moving away from home has made me transition to the other side in my truest form possible. Walking across unfamiliar streets, meeting strangers, acting the tourist, everyday is a new adventure.