Being from a conservative family who was totally against me travelling alone or changing cities, moving out has always been my (ultimate) aim in life and one which I thought would always remain a distant dream as my family would object (obviously). So it came as a shocker to me when my “conservative” family gave the nod for me pursuing higher studies far away from home, that too in Mumbai.
In spite of never having been in Mumbai, I have always felt a kind of attraction towards the city, a feeling of being called home, probably due to the glorification of the city in every other social media, or maybe because of the plethora of opportunities it welcomed its visitors with that is apt for an ardent bibliophile and an artist like me, or simply because it felt right. Now that this paradigm shift is happening for real in just a couple of days, the jitters are pouring in.
I have been in Kochi my whole life-born, brought up, educated, graduated-the whole deal; even though the first question almost everyone asks me when they meet me for the first time is, “are you a proper Malayali?”. I can’t help having an accent, okay? *rolls eyes dramatically* Now that I’m finally getting out of the box, there are a million questions that are nesting in my head. Will I fit in? Will Mumbai be nothing like I thought it would be, and turn out a major disappointment? Being the pickiest eater in the whole universe, will I adapt to the food? Will the people be too rude/creepy that I end up feeling like my hometown is way better? Who will I complain to if the salt is a little less or the sugar too much? Will I feel this, will I end up like that, will I don’t get to do so and so, the questions are endless. And the whole dilemma of packing. What if I forget something important? How will I choose among the humongous pile of my TBR? How will I bookstagram now with such minimal options?
It’s so hard to get used to the fact that even though I am about to undergo this leviathan change, nothing or nobody else around me is affected by it. I am appalled by the fact that Kochi, a city I have tremendously fallen in love with is not asking me to stay. My parents are going on about their usual life, no one is asking me to pack, and I haven’t yet received the don’t-do-drugs-don’t-hang-out-with-boys-speech. All my life (well, maybe not all) all I have ever wanted was for people to treat me as an adult and I always presumed it to be a gradual process. But this all of a sudden adult treatment is a bit overwhelming, to be honest. Could it be that my family being the way they are, I always expected to be treated as a kid? Or maybe I myself did not see adulthood happening so soon?
But, there is a certain kind of contentment that comes with being able to pursue something you have always wanted to do, in a city you have always felt like calling home, that will bring you one giant step closer to doing what you love. Amidst all the chaos and the questions, the dilemmas and the ever opposing pros and cons, rippling right through it all is that contentment.