100 days in France.
I remember that night at IIT when I was contemplating why I wanted to come here in the first place, trying to come up with a 150 word long ‘statement of purpose’, and the only thing I could think of was the fact that I had been living in the same place for 20 years. How I could have chosen another IIT, only to experience independence, or rather self-dependence. The exchange was to be that opportunity to let go of the ties that I wanted to leave, the ties I ended up implicitly banking upon. I was advised to redo it all, because it put me in a black hole, I was begging, I was showing how I had zero experience in adapting and making the best of it. So I ended up writing random stuff, stuff about being inclined to art, fascination with the Renaissance, and somehow linking my quizzing abilities and coming up with a SOP that goes well with the rest of the form. I’m not an army kid, I’m not a south Indian who ended up adapting to being called a ‘maddu’ in Delhi.
But then that didn’t change my primary reason.
Looking back at these 100 days, I can proudly say I’ve managed. I’ve managed my finances, food, laundry, kept my room clean and livable, all by myself. I’ve managed to find company to have a decent time, handled my bank account, planned my travel, shopped for groceries. I’ve even cleaned my shoes after walking on dog shit. I’ve discovered weaknesses by putting myself to test.
Currently, I’m almost through with the semester here. My courses have finished, I’ve given all the exams. The end of the semester is a five week long project, of which 2 weeks remain. Thanks to my project tutor I have to wake up everyday at 7:30 and I come back to my room only after 6 in the evening. No leaves permitted. The project has nothing to do with my stream, it’s about coming up with a business plan for outsourcing some of the company’s work. Outsourcing project + sole Indian in group (and being proficient in English) = hell. Doesn’t stop me from spending majority of the time reading Asterix though.
More lessons to be learnt, of course. 100 days ago, I was a kid longing to settle abroad. Now, I don’t want to imagine myself living and working in a foreign land where people don’t speak my mother tongue. There are somethings that I would want to live with, belonging being one of them. Maybe this realization is because I couldn’t be with my father who underwent a crucial surgery this week, maybe because it’s been far too long since I met close friends.
Two weeks of college. Two weeks of continuous traveling. Home.