Those thoughts have been resurfacing over and over again since June, 2011. I’m turning 25 tomorrow, and I was thinking whether I’ve accomplished anything that a normal 25 year old has. And whether I have achieved anything more than what normal 25 year olds have. I think my life started only after when I reached 17. Till then, I was a quiet little introvert who wanted nothing to do with anything that took place around me. I didn’t have any secrets, for the love of God! I was just a school girl, who had zero number of male friends, thanks to 12 years of girls school-ing. I wasn’t allowed to have any male friends, if I am right. My first co-ed academic institution was Marian Engineering College. I thought I’d like it, but I didn’t. For two reasons, one, the overt “romance” in the air, visuals of which have given me nightmares. Two, I didn’t want to study Engineering. I wanted to study Fashion Technology. Anyway, this happened during the time I started blogging, and in the This is Me section in this blog, that story is there, so I’m not gonna repeat it. The fashion technology college called for a three hour train journey to Chanaganacherri every Monday and the same amount of time in a train every Friday. For someone who has never traveled anywhere other than by school-van, autorickshaw and Dad’s car or brother’s bike, this was something. I was proud of dropping out of engineering college, pursuing my dreams, and doing all that alone! It helped me come out of my shell. That was the first turning point of my life.
I studied again in a girls’ college for three years and still didn’t have a chance to tell at home that I know a guy without raising a question of ‘Logically, from where?’. But I did join Orkut during the time I dropped out of my engineering classes, and hence, knew a bunch of guys and girls who I’d never met for real. That’s where I met Srijith, who turned out to be different from every guy I had met till then. He didn’t hit on me, didn’t flirt with me, but only turned out to be incredibly funny and interesting. Soon we were found online in Yahoo messenger chatting *all* the time. And then, we decided to meet. This was the first time that I was meeting a guy who: Wasn’t my neighbor, Wasn’t my former classmate, Wasn’t any of my brother’s friends, (Not that I’ve met any of the afore-mentioned anywhere alone :D) Heck, it was the first time I was meeting someone alone, just me and the other person! It was a friendship turning to “something more” phase, so we were a bit shy, but anyway, we met. This was the second turning point of my life.
Days passed after the first meet-up. 8 days, to be exact, and he proposed. I didn’t even have to think for an answer, it was so obvious, and I said ‘yes’ to him. August 24th, 2005 – 2:24 AM. It was going to be a entirely new life for us both from then. My first love, and my first many other things. My third turning point in life.
In the first year of college, I stayed in the college hostel, which was my first time staying away from home. I made friends, or rather sisters, who I know will be there for each other for life. College hostel was the first place which required a *lot* of adjusting from my part. In the second year, however, my friends and I took a house for rent and shifted. I learned to COOK! :P We even made an elaborate ‘Onasadya’(feast) on that Onam (a festival), and invited our friends from hostel over. It’s not a big deal for graduation students to take a house for rent, but it is a big deal to make a big Onasadya by people who didn’t know the difference between salt and sugar by just looking at it! :P I even have an old blog-post about that in here!
Next incident I consider big is, at the end of first year of college, we have to go to any state in India and stay there for two months to study their arts and crafts. We have to form groups of five or six members, and my group had five of us. We chose to go to Haryana, and were accompanied by noone other than the five of us. It felt big because, usually students go on class trips as a whole class, with teachers accompanying them, and if in a co-ed college, the guys protecting the girls and doing all the organizing part of the trip. This, we had to do on our own. Preparing an itinerary, taking tickets, traveling, reaching Delhi, going to Haryana, exploring Haryana, studying their arts and crafts, not getting lost, not getting hurt, all on our own. It felt great, actually. That made me understand that we *are* capable of doing things like that at that age. Also, that even I am brave enough to do things like that! That’s the fourth, now.
Throughout the three academic years, we had to travel a lot; for sourcing of fabrics for the final collection, for extra study modules, etc. Traveling to any part of India wasn’t any of a big deal by then. I still can’t believe the transformation I had! One has to know who I really was in order to comprehend my feelings about it. My parents, for example. They gained enough trust and belief over me and stopped worrying so much about me, gave me lots of freedom, and started comprehending the fact that I *can* watch my back. Which was also the reason why they started believing in my decisions.
By the end of college is when I got a job and started working as a teacher in my own area of expertise. I started telling my parents about my friends from social networking, they started accepting the fact that I have guy friends, and even they started liking my friends, who often visited my home, which was kind of a new thing. It has contributed a lot to my parent’s belief over me, that I will have no secrets from them, when I still had one. :P The best part out of these friendships is that, it helped me accomplish many things that I’ve only dreamed of. Like long rides and trips to unknown places, rides in the middle of the night, a New Years eve party on my terrace till 3am, another one on another terrace which lasted all night, visits to a local pub, DJ nights etc etc. By the end of college is also the time when I had my first ever drink, that again, in style, with my Dad, celebrating my graduation :P It was just incomprehensible, the amount of transformation from a strict Dad and Mom who never approved of my mingling with guys, to one who would pour me a drink and say “Cheers”! So getting my graduation could be my sixth.
I had to wait for one and half years in order to reach the next pitstop, which is my post-graduation. Which is, now. I would have got my post-graduatuion in Fashion Design by now, if I had joined Pearl Academy of Fashion, like I had planned to. Well, not like I had planned to, but like my parents had planned to. They just wanted me to get my post-grad, but I wasn’t ready for that yet. Anyway, I wrote the exam for them, cleared it and got a seat. But had second thoughts in the last minute and decided to wait for a year and study in the nation’s best institute rather than settle for “luck”. Life did get a bit hard after I decided not to go to Pearl, and it did remind me of my engineering drop-out days. But with just a year, I was able to get in NIFT, the National Institute of Fashion Technology, studying where has given me so many insights into so many differernt things. It has transformed the small town girl into someone much better, and someone a bit more bold, knows a hell lot of new things in the “managerial” side of life :P, and someone who has learned a bit about the art of surviving in a big city called Chennai. Truly, my seventh. And let me poudly say that this is the second birthday of mine that I’m going to spend in Chennai, away from home, away from my guy, away from dearest friends, and away from Trivandrum.