Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’ has always fascinated me.
As an only child, I’ve lived in Muscat, Kottayam, Calicut, Kochi, Hubli, Pune, Delhi and Bangalore. Two years, sometimes three in one town and then we would move on. There would be a new school at the other end, sometimes in the middle of a term. I would stand at the fringes—an interloper trying to blend. Masking my nervousness with a grin, I would force the extrovert in me out, while the nerd in me would yearn to curl up with my books and my dog for company.
My wonderful parents were a constant source of support, no matter which new city we moved to, but I’d wonder about Alice and how she coped in that Wonderland of hers. Without a lifelong or ‘best’ friend, I sank deeper and deeper into the books that I took with me everywhere we moved to.
As I grew up, Alice and friends from other enchanted woods became my beloved childhood companions, even if they existed only within the realms of my imagination and the well-thumbed pages of my books.
Years later, married and still travelling (El Salvador, this time), I’d found my niche and in addition to being a happy wife, (occasional squabbling aside, of course), I was also a mother.
As I tried to cope with the rigors of bringing up a new baby, then barely five months old and the trials of learning to communicate in Spanish, I remembered that girl I used to be long ago—the newlywed who moved to a foreign land and learnt her way around it.
Much like a lot of my friends who had left their family and careers and friends behind.
Much like my childhood friend Alice trying to grapple with the eccentricities of Wonderland.
Thus was born, ‘A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land’—a book for everyone who has chosen to take a leap of faith by saying yes to a proposal, yes to moving to a distant land or simply yes to meeting new people and making new friends.
‘A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land’ is also about Mythili and, her brand new husband Siddharth. Far away from her world, she feels like she has fallen down a rabbit hole into a completely new land, complete with distinct personalities.
The book wonders whether their once long-distance love will stand the test of living together.
And whether this real life Alice ever embraces her Wonderland.
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6 replies on “The Journey Towards ‘A Newlywed’s Adventures In Married Land’”
Alice was one of my favorite books too, growing up. There was a time when I could recite every poem in both Alice and the Looking Glass. I also travelled a lot when I was younger – 8 schools before my A’Levels. Wonder if that’s a coincidence, or if the underlying theme of Alice (new places, strange people) was something that we understood, even as children?
That’s so fascinating! I’m sure the phenomenon of not really always ‘fitting in’ helped nurture our love for this classic. 🙂
You know this whole ‘fitting in’ theme in your book really resonated with me. Very often we associate the phenomenon of ‘fitting in’ with our childhood. But here is Mythili, a sensible, intelligent young woman having to cope with this “fitting in” in her 20s. We just assume as adults in our 20s or 30s (at least I did when I first moved to UAE) that fitting in would be easy. Maybe one is never too old or young to feel out of place. Of course, one is better equipped as one grows older (thank god for that)
So true, Roopa!
I felt the same way as a new mother going into an established mother’s group in a new country.
There was this need to ‘fit in’ as a parent who followed certain practices and did certain things.
At some level, I feel like expats who move around are always ‘Alices’ falling down rabbit holes, wondering whether we really belong here and marvelling at the wonders around us.
But like you said, thank god for growing older, when one can finally shrug and say, “Meh! I don’t care if I fit in anymore.”
Shweta, thank u for responding to my comment. Appreciate it..:)