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The Journey Begins

October 1, 2009

I landed in Mumbai in a daze.   After travelling for 24 hours, I had no sense of time.  I remember considering how impossible this journey would have been in the early 1900s when it would only be attempted by the rich and adventurous by boat.  Such a month long journey made my jet-lag seem petty by comparison.  Walking into a cloud of heat, Mumbai air hits you like a sauna on a summer day.  Couple this with, the deep odours of a men’s locker room after gym class and you have an idea of the first senses that are shocked into life.  It was nearly 5 A.M. and for a city of 13 Millon people, the streets were relatively quiet.  One exception to this was the symphony of car horns.  The words Horn-Okay-Please are written on the back of every truck as a subtle reminder to honk everytime a car approaches another.  When I arrived in Bandra at the unfurnished flat I was greeted by a couple of stray dogs and a half-asleep security guard.  As I reached in my backpack to finish the last of the Toronto water I had brought with me, I began to remember home.

Staring at the interesting crown molding on the ceiling and lying on half a sleeping bag over marble floor I thought back on the last few weeks and even months in Canada.  I can only imagine, how different my lifestyle here will be as compared to the one I have become accustomed to back home.  It was only a few months ago when I had it all; the North American dream.  I was working downtown Toronto for a niche IT firm in the trendy, up and coming distillery district.  Aside from the cool loft-style office, my coworkers truly made the place a treat to wake up to.  Without ever having a shortage of good company, good lunches, office pranks, after work parties and all around good times, some days hardly felt like work at all.  I had a lovely lady to call my own who lived right across the street.  In recent times we raised a little bouncing baby dog.  We named him Zorro for his shiny black coat and suave looks.  Between playing games at the beach, going for walks in the park, or just keeping up with his mischief around the house, this little guy had very quickly become my world.  My close friends, which are the type of friends that really count anyways, are what really made the summer memorable.  Whether it was soaking in the sun on countless patios, hitting a round of volleyball at the beaches, lounging at house parties, or enjoying all that is Toronto’s nightlife, there was never a dull moment.  My sister and brother in law lived just down the street from me and my parents and most of my extended family lived in the suburbs – just north of the city where I grew up.  All this combined to create a seemingly strong, successful lifestyle with more than enough of all the luxuries I could ever need.

In an instant, all of that has changed; some by chance, some by choice.  I was laid off due to shortage of work – this would later prove to be one of the most eye opening experiences I have known to date.  Effectively it gave me the time to reflect on my corporate ambitions and reconsider my career.  Truth be told, I refuse to allow myself to be in a position to work towards someone else’s goals in the future.  There must be more to life then leaving my destiny in the hands of out-dated corporate leaders.  The changes continued, as the lady and I called it what it was and decided it would be best to grow in our own ways.  Of course the real clincher there is the dog we shared which is the closest I will ever have to a civil custody battle!  Needless to say he is in good hands in my absence.

Now, in India, without a career, without my fair lady, without my dog, without family and friends, this journey will be a new beginning.  I shall endeavour to rediscover my priorities and my roots and create a new sense of purpose.  Even on the materialistic front, I will have the time to part from my Toronto luxuries such as my waterfront condo and sports coupe to enjoy all the finer things in life that money can’t buy.  The journey here all seems very exciting, scary, refreshing, and wonderful.  Mixed as I am – I cannot express how fortunate I feel for managing to wind up here.  With a return planned for approximately five months from now, and an empty palette of an itinerary ahead, I have such an immense sense of joy. Happy for all the events that have led to me being here right now and excited for the plethora of experiences, opportunities and adventures that lay ahead.

Here’s to pushing the reset button on life, welcoming the new and reflecting on what really counts!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 8, 2009 10:35 am

    Good luck.
    Hope you’ve taken your anti-malaria shots!

  2. Artee permalink
    October 8, 2009 5:13 pm

    Beautifully written! Enjoy your time out there, you couldn’t have picked a better place. =)

  3. October 8, 2009 5:40 pm

    bro…I met your dad last week at VMandir and i had to compose him in your absence! No really…he told me about your 6 month excursion.

    Bro..congrats. I did a huge tour half way through my career and tell you it was the best thing I had ever done. Both Paresh and Kapu followed the trend.

    India is an amazing place and your going to have a great adventure. If you ever need any contacts in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Navsari…and of course Mahuva just shout. I have some cool friends there and they can definetly help, guide , comfort if required.

    I look forward to reading your next post.

    JSR…N

  4. Areez permalink
    October 10, 2009 11:23 am

    cheers to you bro.

  5. October 12, 2009 11:34 pm

    Hey Prasheen!

    Great post! Definitely keep blogging and sharing your experiences. There will be good days and bad days and great days, but it will definitely be an eye-opening experience. Enjoy! You’re an inspiration to stop saying “no” and start saying “hell yeah!” 🙂 Good luck with everything!

    P.S. My sister’s out there (in Ahmedabad) and has contacts all over the place including some really cool non-profits and what not. She’s learning tabla as well so it might be cool to link up with her while you’re out there.

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