I completed a full year in Pune last month! It’s quite unbelievable to me. I remember feeling really proud of myself when I survived the first month, and now it’s been 12 times that time but it still feels like yesterday… I still miss home. Some of my friends at the workplace are pretty tired of hearing me go, “I wanna go home!”, every time this city throws a new challenge at me.
Pune sure has tested me. But I have lamented more than enough. Before the year ends, I want to write about everything I am grateful for. The city has given me a job, a new house, couple of new friends, a taste of the night life, and most importantly, it has taken off a whole load of workplace related stress from A’s and my life. Which was the whole point of moving really. I realise today that no matter how comfortable and happy life at home was, there was no way we could have continued there for longer than we did. And Pune does sound like a safe option after having lived in Baroda. Moving anywhere else would have been even more difficult I guess. No?
What Pune has also given me is a chance to think. To ponder. To reflect on a day’s activities. To plan ahead. To let go at times. I have had the highest point of my life here in this city. But not the lowest 🙂
I am grateful for the mountains that face my balcony, and the fresh air that they bring each morning. I am grateful for the view, the sunrise and sunset in the backdrop of the temple on the hills. I am grateful for my neighbour, who is part of my support system here. I am grateful for the freedom this city brings. I am grateful for its safety. I am grateful for R’s friendship, so so so grateful for it. I remember praying for a nice, friendly person to arrive as my colleague on the day he was expected to join office (yes, I was that desperate) – God surely gave me much more than I asked for. Most of all, I am glad that A is happy here.
Do I feel like I belong here? No. Not yet at least. But then, the sense of belonging is something I don’t feel back home either now. So I understand it better what people mean when they say they have unanchored lives. It is exciting, it opens up the world for you along with all its opportunities. It is also scary, because you don’t know where and what to call home.
While I was writing this, I went back to the folder where I’ve saved a copy of all my posts, and there was one there that I never found the courage to publish. I read it over and over again to remind myself of the long way I had come since last November, and to once again be grateful for some people I have in my life. Here it is:
I completed a whole month at Pune today. 30 days since I last met mum dad, 31 days since I left Baroda and 1.5 months since I went to work. I feel quite proud of myself for achieving this. Even the most rational, practical part of my mind tells me that I have done a good job so far 🙂
It has been a journey of baby steps. First dinner at the restaurant across the road after staying hidden at home for 3-4 days. First evening walk by myself down the road in search of a salon where I got my first Pune haircut. First drink in the new home, and first visit to the pub. Purchasing the scooter, wardrobe, ordering tons of food, watching a lot of TV. Crying. Whatsapping and spending time talking on the phone. Unpacking slowly, very slowly. (Still not fully done!). More crying. Blowing puffs in the balcony, watching the traffic go by very fast. Thinking and overthinking everything. Writing poems :). Being fooled about the karaoke evening. Waiting. More waiting. And some more waiting – for a text from a friend, for a call, for the shows I watch, for Akshat to return home from work. More crying.
And then the job applications. No acceptances so far. 1 possible rejection. From quality team lead roping in a pretty decent salary to considering a typing job that is likely to pay 400 bucks.
Akshat, mummy, Aalok, Alok sir – and exactly in that order… the support and love I have received from these guys when I needed it the most is out of this world. I wanted to write this down so I remember, remember clearly what I went through and how I came out of it.
In the end, it is your true connections, your true hobbies and God, that help you sail past the difficult period. Writing a small kiddish poem was an accomplishment for me. I suddenly started feeling useful, and intelligent 🙂
I have the biggest milestone of my life awaiting me in the New Year. All I want is for me to live up to it.