- I should rethink the name of this blog. Really. To quote one friend: 'Idhu boangu!' Chennai gal is moving. Back to India. Far from Singapore. Far from Chennai. To Mumbai.

- I have always thought of myself as a less materialistic person. My prized possessions are notebooks (the kind you write in), greeting cards given by friends, scribbles on the back of flight tickets, my camera stuff, books - basically, things that are tied more to experiences than the happiness I get with possessing them.

- Oh, how wrong I was. Over three years of working, I've amassed nearly 40 kgs of clothes. I don't even want to check how much the carton of books weighs. I've always dreaded this moment, but for reasons cited in the above point, I'd always thought my worst nightmare when moving would be the books.

- Going back to studying is incredibly exciting. The feeling of being responsible only for myself, and not for an organization, a team, a boss or a client. Even though I'm worried about how I'm probably going to be among the oldest in my class.

- Going to Mumbai is even more exciting. Never mind I'll be staying in some corner of the city, far from anything happening. Never mind that after three years of comfort in a room all for myself, I'll be sharing a room with two other people. Never mind the dollars will stop coming in. It's Mumbai!

- With just over ten days left before I make the second biggest move of my life, all I want to do is write, and write. Keep listening to music. Praise MSV's genius in Ninaithale Inikkum. Forget work and handover. Forget packing, shipping, 20kg boxes, and Air India flight strikes.

- And if you're wondering why this title (if you do understand it at all) - just two Tamil words I haven't used in ages. I suddenly realized they used to be part of everyday vocabulary!
I'm highly amused by my own thought process. In the ten-minute walk from the train station to home, my mind thinks of at least a dozen things. Amazement at the fact a train is speeding away on a bridge a few metres above my head. The moon and its stage in its fortnightly life. Why some women look pretty in skirts and why I can never pull it off. Counting the number of people smoking in that ten-minute distance. The old man who has his special little flashlight to shine at the rubbish bin to see what he can rummage to recycle and earn a living. Bus numbers 24 and 22. The song on the iPod and the lyrics that struggle to escape my lips loud and clear, and that sometimes do when there are fewer people around, and just the process of this happening.

Today's was occupied by rebirth, karma and the hand of God in our lives. Nothing religious. Nothing rebellious. Nothing that questions or doubts. Simple curiosity.

So our lives are predestined and all our fates have been sealed by God long ago. So long ago that it's ridiculous to even slap a time-frame on it. God probably thought of my current birth some twenty-thousand births ago. Of what S/He would make me do, what I'd earn good credits for, what I'd repent for, what I'd pay for. Of what my karma is going to be. So why did S/He decide my life should go this way? What about those who're not quite enjoying their time on earth - what if they are paying back for bad things they did in the previous birth and end up doing worse things in the current birth because of the terrible life they have to lead? Are they just caught in an infinite loop of bad karma over and over again?

Thinking these thoughts is just amazing. So much fun. That's why I loved Sophie's World and being in Athens, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle lived and debated, gave me that thrill. That's why I wonder now if I really did go to these places, see and live all those things, and that this day one week back I was relieved to have made it to the airport in time to take the flight back home. What if I'm just a pawn in someone else's game, a character in a story like Sophie was? What if cities, parents, books, Rahman, tennis, Obama, Osama and all that were merely inventions of a woman or a man who is scripting my story? Ah, the challenges and questions life throws at you!
And a much awaited journey came to an end as I stepped out of the Emirates flight and immediately took off the fleece jacket that had saved me during the cold and windy days in Greece and Istanbul. Directing the cab driver to my apartment, telling him which 'deck' to stop at, and simply looking at the red-and-cream apartment buildings, simply felt weird. All I could think of was if I had really lived here before, gone to see some of the most beautiful places in the world, and actually returned. The mind was playing tricks, I was disoriented.

It's 1.30am now, and I'm wide awake, working on Spark, typing this and that, and looking at the photos from the 12 days I spent there, memories of roads made of cobbled stones, cafes and people watching, innumerable 'Hello ladies, are you from India?' questions, stuffed peppers, handsome European and Turkish men, 4-euros-for-half-a-litre housepour wines, of digging my hands deep into the pockets of my jacket to shield them from the freezing cold, and even thinking what kind of warmth holding a cigarette (and maybe taking a puff!) would bring. It's not fun to be jetlagged and thinking of what's gone by - and so quickly at that, I should add.

The ever optimist I am, though, I'm glad to have been there, done it - and to be back. Glad to be able to walk barefoot on the floor, wear shorts, not layer two tees to keep me warm, and weirdly, even craving to have my tau-guah noodle with chicken rice chilli and teh-c, to enjoy everything Singapore while I can. And I'm going to try to fall asleep, thinking of the Ayasofya ceiling, the awe-striking cliffs of Meteora, the Blue Mosque lit at night, the view of the Parthenon from every road, and the brilliant blue of Santorini's waters.

More on the trip, the sights, the people - weird, interesting, creepy, the food and everything else - hopefully coming soon!