1 – A big decision
It was a big decision, a really tough one particularly when I had a nice job with a great company, good salary, a company vehicle and above all, a comfortable life.
I used to laugh at myself sometimes that even to go to bathroom, I will take my vehicle. My parents and sister were was busy searching a suitable bride for me.
However, things weren’t going well for me personally and I had the question “where’s next from here?” inside me nagging constantly. It was pushing me to explore various options including switching jobs and/or going abroad to study something. After thinking deeply, I narrowed down on the idea to do a course abroad mainly “to add glamour to my resume”.
- completely change my understanding of the vast world out there beyond my little cocoon called home;
- my attitude towards life and its challenges;
- my quest to learn more life-skills than bookish knowledge.
I wouldn’t call it an easy period in my life but certainly one that is filled with tough experiences, frustrations, physical pain, mental challenges and extreme loneliness.
However, I value it much more than the rest of my life including my childhood as the learnings I got during this period helped define
- who I am now,
- how I view the world;
- the way I live life getting along with people having different attitudes;
- how to survive difficult times in life and how to be content and
- appreciate every moment irrespective of happiness or grief.
The dream to study overseas was simple. But as an ordinary middle class family, it wasn’t simple for us to achieve it. Every step right wasn’t easy at all right from convincing my family about the potential advantages of studying overseas and improved career prospects etc; mortgaging our ancestral property for securing an education loan; taking coaching classes to improve my English language skills to secure high marks in IELTS; having studied in Tamil medium of education, I was unable to form a complete sentence in English; researching over a year and a half about various options of countries / courses / universities considering the course fees and living costs and also the prospects of finding a job etc.
Can’t forget those frustrating days where I & my dad shuttled from one Government office to another searching for records older than 100 years to have the properties assessed for mortgaging to get my educational loan sanctioned. Every time the road seemed to have been closed as we were asked for more documentation to prove our ownership. At last, I got my loan sanctioned and by this time, I have narrowed down on Australia as my destination. Had to choose an affordable university since others were beyond my financial capacity.
As things started to fall in place, I prepared myself mentally to make my move. My brother-in-law, who is an inspirational figure for me was very helpful ever since I shared this idea to him. He gave me his blazer as I would need one in Australia.
Finally, I set out to leave India for the first time for Adelaide with so many thoughts & feelings fluttering in my head and heart. I have already started feeling the pressure to prove my decision was right indeed. Not for others but for my own future.
There were a lot of pre-conceived ideas and imagination about a foreign country like Australia that I have so far seen only in Hollywood movies.
Transiting via Singapore, I got a chance to briefly explore the city and then flew off to Adelaide, a place that will be engraved in my memories till my lifetime….
To be continued….