Friday, September 4, 2015

Begin Somewhere

I stepped into Delhi on a hot summer morning of May 2001. Along with me I carried a 24" suitcase full of my life's earnings and eyes full of stars. While the suitcase was borrowed, the dreams were my own. The same dreams that most people around me had failed to understand.

It took me a few weeks to find my feet here even though I had been coming to Delhi for decades, and living with my parents off and on in the city for the previous year. Finding friends and work or a suitable course for further studies were two crucial things that these weeks were centred around. Those few weeks however were difficult and long, and, of course very, very hot. I finally found my calling in a job that I had earned some months ago. 

I still recall every minute of my first day at work. It was humid June morning and I had to commute from Pitampura to Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon on my own. My return and the journey from the following day was to be taken care of by my new employers.

Dressed in a navy-blue trouser and a mauve dress shirt both of which I had bought from Janpath only a few days before, I had left home at seven in the morning. I had to change two buses and stand in dirt and grime for close to two hours before being dropped at Atlas Chowk by a Haryana Roadways bus from where I walked all the way to the office, a sprawling complex painted in blue and white. In another few hours I was, with many others like me, taken to a plush five-star hotel in a luxury bus. The next two days were spent being awed by the hotel, the city, and magnitude of the new company and its people. I was soon to become one of them.

For ten years, I was a part of the crowd that I once gaped at with admiration. I almost lived in the offices I had only seen in films, and experienced the life I had always dreamt of. The naysayers, who had thought me to be worthless meanwhile ate their words. And then, one fine day, I left it all. It was time to move on.

In the last five years of being away from work, I did a lot of new things, and, I would like to believe, added value to a lot of lives in various ways. But even with my plate always overflowing with things to do, I missed my work. It was like I had a hole in my life that could not be filled with anything. I tried wasting my time on the internet, I tried chatting with old and new friends on Watsapp, I reconnected with my family, I bonded with my children. I learnt to write, I practised photography, I read, I travelled, I even set up a restaurant -- well almost, but the hole could not be filled.

Today, after five and a half years, I dressed up again in the morning, not in trousers from Janpath, but in a suit from Jaipur. I painted my toes and did my hair, I put on a little lipstick, packed my bag (this one from Janpath, though), and then I left home.

In my new office, which is neither neither as plush nor as awe inspiring as the first one, I suddenly felt the five-year-old hole filling up. I hope it always remains so.


  1. Fabulous! That's how life is. Sometimes - we yearn for little things and when we get what we want, life seems to be filling up that hole. Loved your post Anubhuti. :)

  2. Thank you for reading, Parul. :-)