Growth and Change are synonymous. Everything changes even non living things. Places and things appreciate in value or depreciate. Some turn into priceless antiques while others become obsolete. Human beings, in particular, change as we grow – we learn from our failures and successes, we gain priceless experience with each gray hair and wrinkle.
The person I am today is vastly different from the small town bhopali girl of yesterday. That girl was sheltered, over protected, sweet and naïve.
I traveled away from Bhopal to the city of Pune to the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. Each move, each experience and each person added new dimensions to who I am.
Bhopal, my childhood home forms the foundation of ‘who I am’ but it was Pune that taught me to be independent and self sufficient.
Pune, a transient city, is full of individuals who have come there to study or work. Surrounded by strangers, it is easy to feel lost and alone. Making friends and socializing helps but not enough. I often found myself asking, ‘How do you cope?’ No answer filled the gap of family and a steady support system. It was the gradual change from dependent to independent that brought the awareness – friends help but you have to live for yourself first.
Pune taught me independence, Mumbai taught me trust.
Mumbai, the mecca of marketing churns out professionals of every level but it wasn’t my dream. I have always been a small town girl and I was sure this fast paced metropolis would kick me out. I owe my survival to my friend Vandu. I love her for her support and guidance. She let me stay with her during that terrifying month and guided me on the do’s and don’ts of living in Mumbai.
Mumbai was worth it!
A decade has passed since my foray into independence, that girl who once was so dependent on others has transformed. She has grown confident and is capable of extending a helping hand, like Vandu extended hers, to help those in need, those still trying to find their footing.
They say ‘Time teaches and you learn, sometimes the lesson is easy but mostly, lessons are hard earned’. Luckily for me, I had a balance of easy and hard but I have just completed my first decade of independent living, I still have a lot of living to do. I look forward to the changes and growth, life will bring. I hope when I am old and gray with deep wrinkles, that the person I have become is someone that gives back to society, an instrument of growth.