“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
-Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This is one of my favourite quotes – from the time before J.K. Rowling outed herself as a rabid transphobe, and I lost 99% interest in the universe she created.
Anyway, back to the quote itself.
I’m not someone who reacts with maturity and grace at the prospect of losing a person, a thing, an opportunity, a dream – you name it. Naturally, this quote brings me some amount of comfort.
When I was younger, the first half of the quote was more enticing – “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end”. It gave me the illusion of security, an assurance when I was afraid.
But as I grow older, I realise that the more significant and meaningful part of the line is the second part – “if not always in the way we expect.”
As we trudge along life’s path, we find more unpredictable, unthinkable, unimaginable things happening to us – good and bad. Many of these are reminders, callbacks or just different versions of what came before.
Last September, I had the chance to spend time in Rome with a friend. I went to Rome with my family for the first time in 2012. I remember scrumptious breakfast buffets, guided tours of the Vatican, an endless supply of gelato, and a quick trip to Florence.
In 2021, Rome was about over-hearing Bangla at every street corner, making Bharta with monkfish from the local supermarket, lining up at the gelato store next door, strolling into random churches, feeling exhausted by the innumerable paintings and sculptures at the Vatican, drinking cheap wine and Limoncello, trying to learn the thousand-year-old history of Rome from 20-minute YouTube videos (does not work!), hunting for cheap cocktails in non-touristy neighbourhoods, sweating under the glorious arches, columns and pillars at the Roman forum, gaping at the magnitude of the Colosseum, and wandering around Trastevere.
And now, in September 2022, I am preparing to welcome the same friend with whom I explored Rome last year to my city, Kolkata, to celebrate Durga Puja. And I’ve decided that our first stop will be the Sreebhumi Sporting Club, which has created a pandal resembling Vatican City to house its idol of the goddess.
Might just take a quick virtual tour of the Vatican to jog our memory before we go to the pandal.
Luna Lovegood’s words ring ever true – every lost thing returns. We just have to make space for mutations.
P.S. Make space for Just One Thing in your life and your friends’ lives. You will never lose us. Promise.