I was born and raised in New Delhi, the capital of India, where I lived with my family till I was 27. Like any average person, I went to school, got good grades, started working early, earned a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and went about my life in a fun way. Since I grew up and was officially in the “it’s okay to date” bracket, I have had my share of casual dates and not-so-serious relationships. By not-so-serious, I don’t mean flings without reason, but just not strong enough to make me feel that “this is the one” jolt.
However, I was in a serious relationship (or so I thought at the time) for a few years and when it didn’t work out, I was quite heartbroken, mainly because I had lost my best friend and my partner-in-crime both at once.
Tip: Don’t date your best friend!
It so happened that at the same time, my mother retired and she was sort of thinking about moving to Kolkata, where most of my close relatives live. Bong alert!
Fact: Most bengalis (99.9999%) have relatives in Kolkata.
My mother presented me with the idea of moving to a different city and I said “Yes” in a blink.
Myth bursted: People say that change of location doesn’t change anything, your problems stay with you. It’s bulls**t. Change is everything and it works, much sooner than you would expect.
So, we packed our lives in a few big cardboard boxes, sold the house full of memories, and moved to “The City of Joy”.
I was quite heartbroken even when we arrived here, distant from all my friends and social life, against forming any new relationships, unsure of the path I wanted to pursue in my life.
Before moving out, I had quite a steady job and a decent group of friends. It never occurred to me that all of those, at some point in life, won’t make any sense to me.
I spent almost 6 months with no f**king clue of what to do in life.
Fact: Most things you love doing in your life are generally just substitutes for what you can actually love, it’s just till you find that one crazy thing.
I have always been in love with travel shows and channels, magazines, stories, videos. Even when I were in Delhi, I remember coming home from work late at night (BPO = night shift), and eating my dinner in front of the TV and essentially switching to TLC, Fox Traveller, and the likes.
The one thing that gave me relief during this not-so-happy phase of my life was my undying interest in Travel, and thank god it never left me for a second.
As I was sulking and watching the likes of Ian Wright and Samantha Brown travel the world, something in the Bollywood industry changed – a revolution happened ( at least for me it was as big as one).
A movie featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, two famous actors of the new-age Bollywood, hit the screens around the country. I wasn’t sure at first what to expect of this movie but I liked the pair, and thus, on my sister’s birthday, June 2nd, 2013, I decided to watch this movie with my sister and her then boyfriend now husband. I don’t know how they reacted to the movie, but I spent the next three months watching that movie every day (sometimes thrice a day). So much so, that my mother worried about me and my obsession with it.
Tip: It’s “Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” for those of you who are still wondering, and if you haven’t watched it yet (go away), please do.
Just like that, I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to travel – the world. I wanted to explore every corner of this earth (or whatever possible), learn 100 languages before I die, taste all kinds of cuisines (even the nasty creepy crawlies), drink the local brew of every country, and have friends all across the world.
Finally, one morning, mid October 2013, I presented the idea to my mother, quiet hesitantly to be honest. And, I was ready with a few speeches and rebuttals if she said no, but she DIDN’T. She only asked me to not die and not get an STD.
And, thus 3 weeks later, I packed my bags, booked a train ticket, and set out for what would be the biggest change in my life – my first solo trip (to Goa).
There has been no looking back ever since.