“Everything happens for a reason and sometimes we know about it only after a while.
Born in a conservative, middle-class household, I’ve always been subjected to comparison and competition. Driven by the fear of losing people, I started putting in a lot of effort but it just didn’t seem to be enough. And when you lose, it is the resulting lack of closure – which makes you cautious about making friends and establishing meaningful relationships. One of the hardest things I’ve had to overcome is my fear of failure. The one mistake I believe we all know and still commit is adhering to societal pressures. We need to stop living life to impress those around us and succumb to it.
In 2012, I went to the United States to pursue my Masters. Two missed flights, no apartment to rent, spending a night at a church – it was a series of unfortunate events. The program I opted for was cancelled and I had to return to India within two weeks. A dream shattered quicker than the Arsenal’s defense shape. My family didn’t know how to react and I wouldn’t blame them. Few months down the line, I got the chance to work with Chennai Super Kings as their fan-blogger (the first and last of its kind). I got to travel with the team, living the star life, playing with them and documenting all the behind-the-scenes segments for the website. To this day, that CSK gig has been my identity. I did not plan that, and my parents weren’t very happy about it either. The experience made me realize that life works in mysterious ways. I got a chance to pursue higher studies again in the fall of 2013 because of my academic credentials. If I had listened to my family’s advice, I wouldn’t have embarked on a redemption trip to get my Master’s.
Since 2016, I yearned to come back home as I became more aware of the politics, society and its institutional problems, wealth divide and it was al wake-up call. America is a great vacation destination but that’s about it. I did not want my parents to move to the US for me, so I planned to come back. I repaid my education loan in the next ten months. Little did I know that the next move would be to do an MBA in India, which I completed this summer.
I try to live a life where I make sure I don’t hurt people and despite all that, I do. I overthink, I over-analyze. As a friend once said, sometimes a comma is the best way to end a sentence. My life taught me never to plan but go with the flow, change is the only constant but doesn’t make the past a lie. At 30 today, I only see that bitter endings are better than endless bitterness. But what matters is that we all are here, now. It is easy to judge and alienate people. The difficult part is to understand and embrace each other. Each one of us has our own story to tell. Let’s all listen.”
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