On June 16 2008, a 21yr old girl tagging along her innocent mom stepped into Bangalore, for the first time leaving her home and her loved ones behind. Coming from a middle class background earning every single thing in life with mere hard work, she had no clue what awaited her. Neither did she know anything about software firms nor her job profile. She knew only one thing – she has to be alone, missing her family by her side. The first day at office was frightening. There were so many things to take care of. Numerous forms were filled, many details collected. So much of information to be grabbed. Everything seemed Greek and Latin. There was one more fear – she never touched or worked with a laptop until she was given one on the third day at work. It was a proud moment for her parents – they told kin and kith the fortune that awaited their daughter. A week passed away very soon. Her dad instructed her not to come back Chennai for the next two months, for the fear of her travelling alone. When her mom had to go back, her little girl had to behave all grown up and matured. She stood on the platform, fighting back tears for the first time in her life as the train started to move on. She was on her own. She came back to an empty room in the paying guesthouse (PG) she was in. It became difficult swallowing even a single grain of rice. She called her little sister to cry loads. It felt much better. The first thing she did immediately in the evening was to book tickets to Chennai – to see her family again. She had 5 days to go – every minute seemed difficult. Her only string with being attached to Bangalore was the excitement of new job and yet to be assigned work.
In the next week, she was assigned a cubicle – all for herself. She had a good team and had fortunately made some friends. Her manager was a really nice person. Staying in PG was close to hell for her. She skipped her meals in the mornings and in the evenings for the food was really bad. With her first travel back to Chennai, her homesickness only increased multiple folds. Luckily for her, the work was very interesting and she kept herself drowned in it during the days and evenings were spent calling home, only home for hours together. Work kept her busy and excited. She did new things and brought new insight to the team. She submitted an idea for the Innovation event which impressed her manager so much that her idea was pushed to higher levels earning her the first award at work – “Edison Award for Innovation” and a 100$ cheque. She gained a good place in the team, within 3 months of joining work. Her work was trusted upon. Her manager had high hopes on her. She was given new assignments – the ones that were considered difficult by others. She kept her mind focused and lived up to the expectations of her manager. The only thing that was difficult for her was to live away from her family, from her people whom she loved. She would travel every weekend to Chennai – to be with them for atleast 2 days. Though she had friends at work, none of them were close enough. There was no one who would help her, if she was in need of one. She only believed in her family who were 370Kms away. There was fear – she accepted it with no shame. It was frightening for her to live alone. She never stepped out f her PG. All she knew in Bangalore during the first 3 years were the Bangalore Railway Station, Bus stand, her PG and her office. She kept herself locked in a cocoon and enjoyed the warmth of it and felt safe. Soon, she started hating the place. Work was the only thing that kept her going back to Bangalore.
With every passing year, she was appreciated and recognized more and more. She started becoming the “Go-to” person for the team.No meeting ended without her opinion being recorded. She grew multiple folds professionally. She learnt numerous things – within and outside her organisation. Number of things changed – Her dad could breathe a sigh of relief for the fact that most of his financial burden was taken away. She could gift her mom all the things she wished for her. Some of the most distant relatives wished to join hands with her family based on her new financial status. Some turned green with jealous, when they couldn’t tolerate her growth. Some of them cursed her parents for taking away money from the daughter. Some insisted getting her married soon as she was alone in Bangalore with the possibility of anything happening. The only worry of her parents was that of her health deteriorating so much with every passing year. The only worry for her was that her homesickness was going beyond boundaries. She tolerated. She stood strong even in the most difficult times like when her mother was undergoing an emergency surgery. She could only cry when she knew she could not see her mom even for a minute before she would in the operation theater. She learnt something that day – with the money she had with her, the surgery could be possible. But she could never give her mom the warmth of her daughter’s touch no matter how much money she earned. It didn’t matter that she got to stay with her mom for 3 weeks after the surgery. All it mattered to her was that her mom was sent into the surgery with tear filled eyes and a restless mouth that constantly uttered her daughter’s name for one day of unconsciousness until she opened her eyes to see and touch her daughter herself. After all, money ≠ love, but money is very much needed to live life.
At the end of her third lonely year in Bangalore, her wedding was fixed. New hopes, new dreams. Everything was bliss when she had a companion with her. She looked forward to every weekend. Either they were spent at home with her parents or roaming around having fun in Bangalore. It seemed like a new place, a lovely one. She grew fonder of her new home and her companion/friend/boyfriend/lover/husband. On June 16th 2012, she completed her four year journey in the same organisation, the first offer she took up immediately after college with 22 Monetary awards, 3 Divisional Recognition awards, 5 Spontaneous Recognition awards, 1 Edison Innovation award and 1 Silent Hero Award so far. She has stepped onto the 5th wonderful year with a few achievements in the past and more to come to in the future. Now people, this is the story of yours truly. Wish me all the best. I am stepping into the most challenging part of my work and I need all of your wishes. 🙂