Well, this is a must write post for me as I describe my journey in this city of dreams – Mumbai.
Yes, I have survived in this city for three years now and as I celebrate my third anniversary with this city on 14th July, 2016, I want to phrase my experience into three playing cards, and mind well, all of them are Aces. Know how? Here it goes:
Ace of Spades: Leaving your hometown is never easy but life is not for those who want it the easy way. My journey started that way, as I reached the last semester of my Post Graduation, I was surrounded by what to do next in life and trust me, I was as clueless as anyone lost in a country without a map or guide. It wasn’t easy. I started with a business development profile in my home town but at the end of a couple months, it wasn’t working out and I knew I had to go somewhere Digital takes my entire day. Yes, by then I had already explored most of the platforms, tried tactics to grow my own personal identity and figure out what works and what doesn’t. I didn’t have any official experience in Social Media but I built one brand, and that was myself. Landing up a job in Mumbai especially in this industry is no joke, very honestly. Also, if you are in a different city, no one is going to even consider your application because, yes you guessed it right, there are hundreds of applications coming in from Mumbai itself. While I was not too keen to come to Mumbai, I had to open the gates of my mind and be open to any city where I would get an opportunity and with God’s grace, I was called for an interview from Mumbai, where I eventually didn’t join but in that course of time, I figured out a few more interviews and earned a spot in one of the very popular digital agencies through a twitter friend who was working there at present and who helped me get an interview between the myriad of applications that agency received. This year was a spade because I cracked a job in Mumbai, in one of the top digital agencies working for few of the top notch brands. Who wouldn’t want that? I felt blessed to have had got a kick start there but I never knew what was going to happen next. New people, new environment, an amateur at work among full with pride individuals and me, an outsider. Yes, basically people who come from other cities are not very welcomed was the norm then. This year made me learn the importance of existing even when no one approves of you and maintain real connections if you want to survive in this city. It was an eventful year and I made quite a few connections I can say, which are still in touch sometimes.
Ace of Diamond: Diamond, yes. Because the second year almost started with a fresh perspective. Changed jobs, home, set of people, places to visit and what not. A newer environment, plethora of personal and professional challenges but it only added to my strength and beliefs. Behind the curtains, there were struggles, there were tears, there were experiences, there was pain, there was a lot of chaos but as they say, you cannot grow unless you are pulled down enough under the ground to get up on your own. This one was a year of confusions of what I actually want in life, certain pressures and a lot of anxiety. I was not sure where I am heading and in between, I again quit. Quit. Quit. QUIT. Yes, life was ending up towards the darker side. But then something had to brighten the hope again and one more change and chance, I joined another agency after a month of roaming around. This year almost went in changing two jobs, three houses and a lot of worry. Yes, but “Picture Abhi Baaki Hai Mere Dost.”
Ace of Hearts: Coming to the very recent year, it was lurking somewhere in the dark and I almost reached to the decision that I am going to leave this city and shift back to my hometown. One more level of Quitting and the world just came crashing. I started focusing on getting my blog right. Took up the onus to shift my blog to my personalized domain and give it a completely fresh look and feel. October, 2015 was a lot concentrated on building my own website with YouTube, some coder friends and all the will power. You are here on the same, if you were just wondering where’s the website. 😉 Loved working on this because it taught me a lot of things in terms of technology, hosting, content and a lot more. In between this, at the starting of the year, I started putting down a few best poems of mine to make it as a manuscript. The idea of publishing gives jitters when we think of traditional publishing. I visited Goa with a couple of bloggers and I met a friend who later in her blog post mentioned a publisher with a different business model. My eyes shone and I was like, I am definitely taking this up. I collected all my poems and sent the manuscript to the publisher. Fingers crossed, they were out for a few months and I was told to be contacted later. But guess what, it went through and there was a little spark again. Years of my writing sculpted into a book with my name as an author on the cover, imagine? As I write this line here, I have goosebumps. For real. Then started the journey of getting this passion to the level where it belongs. All my energies were focused on this venture. It was a volcano bubbling inside me since years to have a book of my work, published by a publication and not self publishing. Bang! The universe gave me this opportunity after years and I couldn’t just let it slip away from my hands with the leveraged confidence. November 2015 – the entire month was focused on getting this right. From designs, cover, editing, layouts, placements to the final stage of getting it out. Ah, the rush. I cannot express it in words ever. Finally, after a lot of hard work and before the launch, I got the first set of my first published poetry book and it was heavenly. While brushing my teeth as I opened the door of my house attending the courier guy carrying the FIRST EVER set of prints, I was literally dancing. This was it. The energies were getting back. Finally, on 1st December, 2015, I launched my first published poetry book – Savoir Faire: Do the WRITE thing, you can check it out here. I will be glad if you give my first book, a home, read and review it. It has my heart. Trust me, when I say that. 🙂 Eventually I figured that the industry I have got in, unfortunately has very little scope outside metro cities and here I was, back to Mumbai getting yet another job in a corporate agency where I have finally, with God’s grace, stabilized. And yes, this year was very important as I finally got taken by the love of my life who makes my life beautiful, worth and ecstatic. She, also is the editor of my first book and her name is Richa Arora. <3
Life throws us in a neck deep pool and then pulls us out, again smudges our face with dirt and showers rain, pokes you with all the needles and makes you bleed and then heals the pain but it will continue to keep you on the burn, and if it keeps you in action, it is a good thing because the silence, the pause, the numbness will kill you otherwise. Be thankful for where you are, what you have been through, what you have done and where you aspire to be.
Your courage, hope and beliefs are your only friends, never betray them. With this, I’d like to sum up my 3 adventurous years in Mumbai in two words: “Keep Moving.”