….aa bail mujhe maar.
Remember that Amol Palekar serial on DD? I am a chalta phirta example of the kahavat. I had blogged about this incident in the past. Today’s post is about a big decision I made in haste, that haunted me for a long time.
The year was 2002 and I had just joined my first job in a HUGE IT company. All the new recruits were sent to a South Indian city for training. It was my first time ever being away from home, all by myself, and I expected that I would be homesick and miss my parents and sister a lot. But this training center was like a huge hostel, where I met some very interesting group of people and we made a nice big group that had a lot of fun. I would get up in the morning, get ready for ‘work’ (classes actually) and wait for one of the company buses to take us to the training center. I would sit outside on the hostel steps, with the day’s The Hindu in hand, trying to get a start on the daily crossword. Tell me, can a day that starts so wonderfully ever be bad?
After about 3 months of the training, I realized I really liked staying away from home, and even though I missed my family, I was still happy and having a good time. Little did I know that it was the ‘having a good time’ part that mattered. So after 3 months of training we were to take an exit exam, based on the results of which we would be assigned to one of the many locations in the country. As it turned out, I did pretty well in the exit exam and I was told that I could ‘choose’ wherever I wanted to go. Since I now felt like I could live happily(refer to the realization in the beginning of this paragraph) away from Hyderabad and away from family, and Mumbai sounded like a nice destination for a single girl, I wrote Mumbai as choice #1, Chennai as choice #2 and Hyderabad as choice#3 on my location form. A lot of well-meaning people told me to choose Hyderabad and go back to my parents, especially because I have the choice, and not suffer being all alone in a new city. I brushed them all off as chauvinistic and was happy that I chose to be independent.
Well, we(I and another friend of mine, who, like me, also chose Mumbai, while being offered Hyderabad) landed bright and cheerful at the Mumbai domestic terminal, and the heat and crowds outside hit us bad. We got into a cab and landed at the hotel that was supposed to be our ‘home’ for the next one week. This one was booked by a group of guys who reached a little earlier than us, and was in Dahisar, and was ‘budget mein’ according to them. In short, it was a HORRIBLE place. While the hotel itself was decent, the whole area seemed alien to me. When I think about Mumbai, I think about VT, Fort, Bandra etc. Not Dahisar! Well, we somehow stuck around for a few more days and signed up on a sublease with a girl in Andheri. Little did we know that this was in the worst part of Andheri, and it was rainy season and we had to navigate through questionable waters to get home every day. Needless to say, I used to meet my HR/Manpower Resources person every day and pester him/her to transfer me back to Hyderabad, with a new reason every day. And I used to call my parents every day to tell them I miss them, sigh, and that Mumbai sucks. It was not until I moved into a shiny, new, super awesome, marble floor, gated apartment in Kandivali did I feel at home in Mumbai. And then I never looked back again!
But for the first few months I definitely fit the bill of Aa Bail Mujhe Maar for having forfeited the wonderful opportunity to go back home to my family, rather than languish all by myself in an alien city. And having moved out of home then, I have never gone back home(to live forever) ever!