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Native VS New In Town: A Tale of Experience

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When I was politely kicked out of my clerical job I had opted for while still trying  to survive engineering, just like any other Indian teenager, I was waiting for overwhelming sadness, but that did not come. All I saw was new endless possibilities, finally stepping out of my house and being a free bird.

It was one of those fantasies every person has in their late teens – being independent. I informed my dad I am leaving for Bangalore to search for a job. He offered to help me settle down in Bangalore and make sure I was happy and safe, which I accepted graciously. Mom was confused on whether to be sad that I would be going away or be happy that I am finally ‘growing up’, while little sister was excited about having our shared room all to herself.

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Arriving in Bangalore, I was not sure if I was feeling cold because of weather of January in a cool city like Bangalore, or because of the nervous excitement that this city is going to be my new home, where I can find myself. I reached my place, attended the interview and then bid adieu to my dad.

I was supposed to be scared, but I was surprised that I was elated, sad and lonely, all at the same time. I decided I will just start searching for more interviews and an hour later, it started raining outside. That was the scariest thunderstorm ever.

One particular thunder was so loud, I almost knew something had gone wrong. The power was disconnected and my room was pitch black. I had no candles. I went out with an umbrella to see what’s wrong and saw many people had come out from their houses. A very old huge tree had fallen and cut the electricity cables before landing. All stores were shut and there was no way I could get any food or candles. I felt the loneliest and a bit lost.

I decided to knock on my neighbor’s door to borrow some candles. A sweet lady in her 50s answered. I explained my situation and then asked for some candles. She observed my drenched state and asked me to get in.

I was given a towel, a bowl of hot porridge, and a thick blanket. Her two daughters were also having the porridge and I immediately remembered me and my sister being taken care of just the same way. I thanked the lady and left, promising myself to bring her a pack of candles the next day. Before I could start missing my mom and sister in my dark room, it was hail storming. I had never seen hailstorm in my life.

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I was weirdly excited. I slouched in a chair facing my open door with a thick blanket and realized: If I were with my parents now, I would not know the hailstorm in me that I needed to go through. I did not know how I would overcome such a situation. I would still be with my mom, happy and safe, but then how would I learn how to manage myself?

I had no idea how strong I was, until I went through the dread of being alone in a tiny dark apartment with no candles, huge ice pieces falling on my roof making so much noise that I could not hear my mom on the phone, cooking in the light of a candle, living without electricity and phone for the next 3 days.

Now, 6 years later, I am a native of Bangalore. I have become very generous, calm, patient, and compassionate, thanks to that lady who made me feel at home.

So, what is your story? Would you love the experiences a new city gives you? And the challenges being new in a place bring for you? Or would you rather live in your native town and bask in the comfort and belonging that the place offers you?

Do share your thoughts!

Image Sources: [1], [2], [3].

About Preethika Shenoy

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One comment

  1. Preethika, very well written piece. I too have two daughters and always thank all the mothers who have fed my daughters in USA especially on festivals……..

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