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You know how Indian families are –
close knit and overly protective. They stay together and are together in thick
and thin. And being a single daughter means being in the protection a little
too much. While growing up I have enjoyed a lot of luxuries of having dropped
to school in our car to being picked up from the school bus stop (whenever I
took a school bus). I didn’t have to take a local bus or transport ever till I reached
college and insisted I travel by metro like my friends. I am sure my parents
only wanted good for me and felt I should be comfortable and safe.
Once I graduated from college, I decided
I need to move out of my home and be on my own. That is not what most people do
in India. But I feel it is quite important to learn to be on your own and take
your own responsibility. Now convincing my parents to just let me out and be on
my own would have been simply stupid since it would have got rejected even
before I spoke a single world.
The best I could do is get a chance
in a good college or university (which were better than those in my city) in
another city or abroad. Because I always knew my parents had very high regards
for education. Since my dad is an alumni of The Royal College of Surgeons of
Edinburgh, convincing him of letting me go abroad wouldn’t have been a problem.
So all I did in my 3rd year of graduation was researching on
universities, colleges, courses, student work permits, and also checking out
universities in other cities in India.
After college, I went and met
student counselors of some of these British universities and process of ILETS
and TOEFEL – and all this without the knowledge of my parents. But I knew I needed
a backup plan too – being in India at least. And just as I had expected when my
mom got to know about all these plans she had a lot of problem why I wanted to
go away to Leeds (that’s the one I had chosen!). She couldn’t fathom I, their only
daughter will go away and stay miles apart! She also had assumed I’ll get into
a relationship with some white guy or even worse some Pakistani!!
But thankfully my plan B worked. I
had gone and given admission tests and interviews in universities in Delhi and Bangalore
and got through all the three that I had applied for. So I chose to take up
media studies in Bangalore. My mother was relieved with only one thing – you can
reach Bangalore in 2 and half hours and not some 16 hours!! So when I went with
the proposal of shifting to Bangalore they agreed without much trouble.
There began my journey of being
responsible. It was a baby step to arrive in a new city but it a Big Bold Step
in itself – being alone in a new city. I didn’t allow my parents to fly down to
Bangalore with me so that they could help me settle down. I decided to do that
all by myself. And believe me, the years that I spent in the paying guest accommodation
are the best formative years of my life. I had no experience of managing
anything forget about finances – but there I was managing even my food. And its
in those years I discovered a self taught and self styled chef in myself.
This one Bold Decision has made
me fiercely independent which is a trait that I like in myself. And I am happy I
carried it forward while getting my first job (not from campus placement
though, a much better than the ones in campus) and also after my marriage.
Life is beautiful and has a lot
to offer, you need to take that step and #StartANewLife.