Our lives go through many changes from time to time, sometimes pleasant and sometimes not-so-great, nonetheless, this is something completely unavoidable. Rather, the more we want to move away from these changes the more we find ourselves closer to them.
Moving from a small city of Dehradun, which happens to be my hometown also, to a super-fast metro city of Mumbai was a 360 degree change for me. Not that I hadn’t lived outside my hometown ever, in fact I had earlier stayed and worked in Delhi for about 7 years, but staying in your hometown really spoils you. There are so many things that you have to let-go off like, reaching your office in about 10-15 mins. of drive, catching-up with your old-buddies on weekends or visiting old food joints that you have grown up with; there are so many things about your hometown that really really spoils you. One has all the more reasons to get spoilt when the hometown is Dehradun, which has a beautiful weather as it is just about an hour’s drive from Mussoorie, “The queen of hills”.
Whenever we move to a new location, we all have our fears and anxieties and I was no different. I had lots of apprehensions in terms of the language, the environment, the culture, etc. I had heard a lot of things about Mumbaikars (locals of Mumbai) not liking the people coming from the northern part of the country. These perceptions were not because any of my friends or relatives had shared their own bad experience or something, rather due to what I had heard from people, read in newspapers or read over internet. I had heard that the language divide is a big divide and I may not be able to survive beyond a few months since I don’t speak their language.
Any kind of a change brings forth both the things, “anxiety as well as excitement” and this was quite a big change as it was going to not only impact “my life” but my family’s life also. It was not only me who had to adjust to the fast life of Mumbai, but my elderly mother, my adorable 4-year-old daughter and my ever-supporting wife.
I had to make a choice between all the “advices” that I was getting and the “exposure” that I could foresee, which will surely help me become a better professional. Situation becomes difficult to handle when you have multiple things going on in your head. Nonetheless, I have always believed that depending on which thought you give importance to, it grows up to take a larger shape. Therefore, without paying any heed to all these, I finalised to move to Mumbai and take on life as it comes.
After landing in Mumbai and stepping out of the airport, the first thing that I experienced was the whiff of humid air hitting my face and all the positivity that I had built to convince myself became shaky and I asked myself, “Amit, have you taken the right decision?”. But now it was too late to think of anything but a U-turn.
Now it’s been more than 4 years that I am living here in Mumbai (Navi Mumbai to be precise) and fortunately I have never experienced any kind of trouble in terms of language or culture. Any location for that matter is different from the other one and for our country as they say, it is a land of varied cultures and diverse languages. Mumbai, despite being such a densely populated city, accommodates everyone with love and affection. Contrary to the general perception, that lots of people attempted to make me also trust, people here are pretty supportive and quite helpful.
There are a lot of learnings from this experience of mine, however, I am sharing two of the most important of them.
Firstly, “don’t believe in perceptions, go for the facts”. Ironically, the people who were advising me not to move, had no personal experience of living here, neither any of their family members had ever stayed in Mumbai.
The second learning that I could gather is, if you face any change, “accept and embrace the change fully”. It puts your mind at ease, which in turn makes you feel comfortable and things around you start appearing beautiful. Science also supports the same, as Newton’s third law of motion states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, in other words the more we resist the more we find ourselves in trouble”. As a natural human reaction, we resist the change and I believe that resistance is the root of all those worries and concerns that we all go through. In order to be accepted, one must accept the change first of all. It is like a mirror “If you look at the mirror with a smile on your face, the mirror is bound to smile back at you.”