Saturday, June 11, 2011


Nada, First Home-stay Mom
Asawari moved in with Nada, her Serb homestay Mom in Novi Sad, Serbia on the 10th Sep 2010, about a week after reaching Belgrade from Princeton. Half of her nine month long, Bridge Year Program in Serbia was spent, in operation, from Nada’s place. Nada was her introduction to daily life in Serbia. There was a comfortable easing into it, aided by Ceca, Princeton’s BYP Serbia Co-ordinator. They began with an introductory meeting, a meal out and finally the move in. It was on the 11th Sep that I received Asawari’s reassuring email with pictures of her new home and the first lunch with Nada, Iskara, Milica and Nada’s daughter-in-law. There was also a brief description of her room and the historical wooden study table placed on one side, a gift to Nada from her parents in the high school year.

First Lunch
The pictures and her chatty, upbeat tone in the mail reassured me completely. Some apprehension had been expressed here in India that Asawari was jumping too fast and far ahead. Going to Princeton would have been a mission enough and to move up ahead from there, to a third country, with a name that was easy to confuse with Siberia, was being projected as a mission within a mission, calling for a whole lot of nerve. I recall now, the initial anxiety and the feeling of relief when a month passed  successfully in Serbia and I sent her a message, wishing her on the first Serbian monthly anniversary ! The second month went by without the ceremony and before we knew it, the concluding capsule of her program was being held on 1st June 2011 at Split, the largest Dalmatian city in Croatia and also the place Ceca grew up in. 

Asawari is back with Nada, having done the full circle of Novi Sad, Nis and now Novi Sad again. Tomorrow in fact, she will be travelling to Belgrade to receive Aqseer who is flying out of Delhi to spend ten days at what has been Asawari’s home away from home, these past nine months. I am quite ridiculously happy that someone in the family will soon be meeting the wonderful people who have taken care of Asawari, this year gone by.

Asawari by the Danube
The first time Asawari told me on the phone that she was at ‘home’, something tugged at me. It was odd to hear her call any place other than home, ‘home’. But that is exactly what Nada and the Cirics, her Nis family gave her, a home in Serbia.

The sisters are planning to split their time between Novi Sad and Nis, Asawari’s second home in the country for four and a half months.

Not now, nor in the immediate future but in the years to come, Asawari will find that these two families have become an invaluable part of her conscious/subconscious life stream.

Thank you Srbija. Thank you Cirics. Thank you Ceca. 

Thank you Nada. 

No comments: