Not long ago, and I say this deliberately, when I passed out of my college with an engineer’s degree in hand – I had dreams that were boiling to get fulfilled.
Of these, the one that always and forever stood on my mind was the experience to travel, learn and live alone.Thankfully though, I belonged to a upper middle class family that treat men and women with equality – thus, my dreams were always encouraged.
As a hyper, over-excited graduate who believed she’s seen everything and can deal with anything for that matter – I set on my path to explore my destiny. Naturally, I started with my first stint, by matriculating into Nanyang Technological University at Singapore.
As I landed on this land with nail-biting excitement, a constant thought kept replaying on my mind – “So what’s this minuscule part of the world going to teach me?!” Little did I know that I was in for a roller coaster ride that will stay with me forever!
Singapore, for all its glistening beauty and charm is also a country with tested boundaries. This means, for an Indian – who is exposed to the far fetched freedom at home and in the city it took out a toll!
I was forbidden to sip water in the metro! This for someone who spent a large part of her schooling eating breakfast during commute in a school van!
I admit, life wasn’t easy! But, were these struggles worth it? Absolutely!!
On the other hand, Singapore, with all it’s strictness, was a country that was adorned with culture. I learnt, in just a couple of hours and with absolute certainty that, this was a land that was molded with passion and made to look unique to stand distinct.
Isn’t that how we all are?
Every little part of our childhood shaped the way we looked at our college. Every little stint at our college made us ready to explore the outer world. And every little experience that we learn from the outer world tames us beautifully!
To be blunt – I grew with Singapore and I am glad I did.
My life, as it seemed to me, suddenly lost all its excitement, craziness and fun as it religiously molded into responsibility, maturity and adulthood.
I saw myself changing – from planning “low-cost” outing with my friends to shopping groceries with my room-mate and cooking stale dinner for the night!
Strangely, these organic changes never left me hopeless. In fact, it felt like I was made for them. In a world where every millisecond witnesses glorious change, I was happy to contribute my own.
My primal form of commute, to satisfy the tiny leads of life shifted from using scooter/car to my feet. It felt powerful, a workout that I deliberately ignored all my life in India. I learnt to value the importance of money, I learnt to make peace with myself if my needs were left unsatisfied.
I learnt that beyond freedom, there is peace in solitude and this peace was something I claimed through exploring. I skimmed through the streets, witnessed the religious changes and cultural diversity, made amazing friends that time and again reminded me how blessed I was.
I learnt to fail and I learnt the value of failure. I realised that success in life comes to the right people at the right time but before that comes selflessness, kindness and compassion.
Every passing thought of my life in Singapore brings a smile to my face. This land, may not have been my destined place – yet, I am glad I chose it as it truly helped me become a better person for life!