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A Feeling of Nostalgia

Meet Kudrat Dutta Chaudhary, a San Francisco-based lawyer who left the City Beautiful two years ago in the pursuit of following her passion!

Why and when did you leave Chandigarh?

I left Chandigarh in August 2018 as I’d gotten selected to study LLM in International Laws at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. I always wanted to pursue higher studies and build my professional expertise in ‘Gender Analysis in International Laws’. So, going forward with my Masters felt like a step in the right direction. I graduated my LL.M Program in May 2019 and ever since then, I have been working in the field of gender-based violence asylum claims in San Francisco.

What is the best thing that you like here which is not there in Chandigarh?

I really admire that the culture of San Francisco is very liberal and non-judgmental. You can be whomsoever you want to be and there is an acceptance to being edgy. I don’t feel Chandigarh is quite there. We still enjoy living in our bubble and while I find absolute solace in that too, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle in cities that are based on diversity and challenging the status quo.

What is the one thing that you miss here which was there in Chandigarh and is not here?

Haha! This is a tough one. I think I can name two things: The first is the feeling of nostalgia, almost every place has a memory attached to it whether its sector 8 or a cafe. It not only brings memories but a sense of security stemming from familiarity. An absolute sense of security in a city out of one’s hometown takes time and effort to build and sustain. The second thing I miss is walking into a cafe and knowing half of the people. Where I found that to be intrusive in Chandigarh, looking at it from afar makes me realize how close-knit Chandigarh is and how much if we truly want, can use this social capital to empower each other. This can be done by supporting each other’s businesses, ventures, art, so on and so forth. People are very supportive in San Francisco, even if they aren’t close-knit, so Chandigarh definitely has most of us tied to each other either via school, college, courts, businesses etc.

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