If someone asks about me to my family, I’m sure they would throw in words like ‘independent’, ‘bold’, ‘outspoken’ in their description. My cousin has always wondered how I can travel alone or how I stay alone at home when parents are out of town. This must sound stupid to some, I agree. But we are from the South and ‘outspoken & independent’ are not the descriptive words people would use for a girl.
The truth is, I’ve been afraid, always. But I’m good at pretending to be brave and hiding my fear. When I was 17, I was packed to Pune and my Hindi was limited to reading and writing. Conversations in Hindi made me run for help. Travelling by auto or even grocery shopping panicked me. All my classes were meant to be in English and not always did it happen in my favor. I was not allowed to call Mummy for consecutive days. My guardian* said that would distract me from my goal. (I didn’t have a goal).
After eleven months of living away from the family and gaining nothing out of that stay, I finally came back home. I did not achieve anything. I did not clear the PMTs. Neither did I learn to speak Hindi fluently. My dad and mom were much more disappointed than me (I was just happy to be back). My dad, who kept telling that his daughter would conquer her fear over Hindi in a matter of few days, was not okay with the fact that I came back as a failure.
I reluctantly took up Engineering (and Biotech, to be precise) in a not-so-popular college. I always had the feeling that I was a loser. Coming first in the department didn’t change it a bit because I scored less than average in my GATE exam. And I hit rock bottom when I failed my TCS interview.
I was looking for one reason, a small silver lining, anything, something to prove I wasn’t a failure. Good news came in the form of M.Tech admissions to my dream University. My parents were again reluctant to send me to a city, alone. But the ticket to Anna University was the answer to all my problems and I was confident about it. I had to persuade my father and for the first time in my life I cried to him about how I thought I was a failure and this was my second chance.
I have always mentioned in this blog about how much this city has changed me. It’s been four and a half years now. I’m working in one of the ‘safest’ MNC’s and I’ve been living off of my hard earned money and I no longer have the need to pretend that I’m strong and independent. I’m living the life of my dreams and it all started with moving in here. Had i not moved in here, had I not literally begged my father, I would have been married, transformed into a mother-of-two and a homemaker. (Not that it’s a bad thing). And I would have been behind my husband for all of my needs, nodded my head in agreement when people talk about ‘clothes provoking a man for rape’ or ‘how girls should not be allowed to work’.
I know that my Dad and my husband are proud of me and I wish that one day my guardian (I miss you!) would call me and say the same thing.
This post is written for Housing.com’s (https://housing.com/lookup) Lookup stories. I have not fabricated anything mentioned above. 🙂
*The guardian – someone very close to me, Dad and brother.