AFAN : As far as necessary!
I remember when I sent my little one to go live with my parents. I was in Bangalore and they were in Warangal. That was 12 hours by bus to Hyderabad. And another 5 hours from there to Warangal.
I used to complete this 34 hour journey, to and fro, over 3 days, on alternate weekends. To make the alternate weekends 3 days long, I used to work through the other weekends.
At that time I had already been diagnosed with Asthma and Spondilytis. Yet going to be with my child was all I cared about. That was the first time I had been separated from him.
I was always so excited and happy on the journey to Warangal amd would literally weep all the way back home. And as soon as I was in Warangal I would just look at him and fall into a deep, tired, peaceful sleep. Saturday evenings were very happy. We would go to the zoo or to a movie or to visit friends. The tears would start on Sunday morning, because both of us knew I would have to start back soon.
After about a year of this, my parents moved to Bangalore so that all of us could be together.
At that time I had a job change. I used to travel back by auto everyday so that I could spend a little more time with him each day.
Then I had a 4 month U.S. assignment on my own in Detroit where I could only afford to call him once a week. On my next assignment at Louisville I took him along. In the meantime my parents shifted to Vijayawada and then to Visakhapatnam.
Louisville worked out very badly for us. But when we returned to Bangalore, we could not get back his school and our old place to stay. So I was in Bangalore and he was in Vizag with my parents. This was a train journey to Madras and another one from there to Vizag. Travel time alone was 24 hours plus one way. Then there was the wait time in Madras and complications if the train connections were missed.
There were flights but I could afford those only when the company paid and they had long layovers in Hyderabad. Plus the Hyderabad to Bangalore flight was always a dozen hours late.
After about a year of this, I quit my job to go live in Vizag and realized in about 6 months that there just was not enough money to do this.
I found a good job in Bangalore again. This time my son and I went and prayed with our whole hearts at Simhachalam that we should never, ever be separated again.
Within a few months we found a good school where he got a seat and we found a nice rented house. The cumulative stress of a highly responsible job and my life events gifted me with three kinds of illnesses, two of which were chronic – slip disc and diabetes. With all this, we still managed with loads of help from my parents. We also moved to Nashua, N.H. in U.S.A. for a year or two. My parents visited us there also for a couple of months. My son missed them very much when they came back to India. And he missed the physical and social warmth of India too. So he moved to Vizag with my parents. I left my job a few months later to go live with him.
This time we had enough savings for a couple of years. And when I got a job in Bangalore again after that, all of us moved back here together, and my father built a house where we could all live together. And I worked for a few more years till my heart protested physically and emotionally. And I left my job.
Today I’m a blogger, freelance teacher of philosophy and a student of the Vedas. My health has improved, worsened and improved again. My son has grown up and I live with my parents, in the house my father built for us.
How far would we go for someone we love? Hey! We are human. We will go AFAN!