Hey - hope you had a great week!
Before I spill my guts out, please hear me out.
Try and understand the viewpoint of a 24 year old girl who has been living away from home (Surat, Gujarat) since she was 17 years old.
This is a letter right from my heart and I want to candidly express what I have been feeling.
Now, for you to understand the nuances of my situation better, let me shed some light on who Rashika is.
A 5’7 girl, who has been sincere towards her career, is highly expressive, believes in keeping people around her happy (on days she is feeling it), is someone who overthinks her every move and every feedback given to her, over sensitive, highly worries about her life and is not that accustomed to rejection (as privileged as this sounds, it’s true).
I also believe that I have had a decently comforted life, been someone who is pampered by everyone at home yet, my father has always pushed me to stand on my own two feet.
When everyone in my family wanted me to start something of my own in Surat and just live life without any hustle, my parents were the ones who pushed me in the real world and said, ‘Agar career banana hai toh sab kuch khud manage karna padega.’
This is the reason why adulting is such a difficult phase. From your groceries to your cab fares, you have to be cognizant of your spendings and in the end save some as well (my dream lol).
It's been more than 4 months since I packed my bags and moved to Gurgaon to begin the next phase of my life.
After completing my Masters in Marketing Management from ESADE Business School, Barcelona (before you ask, yes it was magical!).
When I came back to India, I was sure that I wanted to resume my career in Brand Communication and in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry..
Little did I know that here, this industry was as nepotistic as our very own Bollywood. And what was even more astonishing was they only hired from IIM’S or ISB. If I am being honest, this was a big blow for me.
Anyways, the next best step was scouting for a fast growing D2C brand start up and working towards building the brand.
While I was in an active search of openings in start-ups, one fine day Perfroa popped on my LinkedIn feed and when I opened their website. I ended up buying 3-4 products from them. That’s when I realised I was already sold on the USP of the company and getting here would be the next best thing to happen to me.
Out of several D2C brands what excited me most about Perfora was the industry they are trying to disrupt and the story of the founders. Their story has a hook, a relatability factor, that draws most people to the brand.
I came on board as Social Media and Communication Manager but soon my horizons expanded to building the brand as well.
While my professional front is offering me every opportunity I wanted to prove myself as a marketer and becoming accustomed to building and representing the digital personality of Perfora.
The roadblock Universe sent my way has been finding a way to call this place my home.
You know I believe in this theory, you keep switching places, cities and sometimes even countries because you’re on a lookout to find a place where you can belong.
As much as home is nothing but people around us, home is also a land where you feel secured, a place where you feel you can spread your wings and fly.
Home is also where you feel a connection. It’s like that bit of earth, soil and air has provided comfort in your loneliest of days. A place that has held your hand when nobody did and given you the strength to pull through.
That is what is home for me. And since 7 years I have been in a search of that one place I feel I belong.
It’s not my home city- Surat, it was Mumbai for sometime but not a place wherein I can live a contented life, it was Barcelona, but i have to admit sometime it got extremely lonely and far. And now, I am here in Gurgaon (it’s not Delhi, and yes I agree with every Delhite who says this).
Home is a place wherein I can go out and explore the walls, architecture, night sky, the pearly beach water at any time of the day.
A place where fear of people is not encrypted because everyone around you has the same security.
I hate to admit and being a woman no one knows this better than me, that I do feel unsafe in Gurgaon.
I hate to watch time whenever I travel alone. I hate that I have to choose to stay over at my friend’s place because it was midnight on a winter night and I could have a cab driver that could have been drinking.
I utterly detest that summer is here and I have to think twice before wearing shorts. I know I will get a lot of backlash for this. BUT, this has happened to me multiple times in the last three months.
Places such as Cyber Hub don’t feel safe anymore. And I am sorry to say this but please understand that this is not an allegation to the city, to its people. This is an allegation on the mindset of the society that’s around us (no matter their background).
All of this has never given me the time, the willpower and the interest to go and explore the city, walk on the streets (please we need better roads).
This is what brings me anxiety every night.
You know where solace is just in your room, because as sweet as people would be outside, you can’t get out of your head.
Well, am I stuck in my head with these incessant worries? Am I overthinking this way too much because I haven’t taken so much time to find a bit of myself in a new city? Maybe.
I am just a 24 year old girl trying to find herself, a place she can call home and also build something that she always wanted to do.
The silver lining in all this has been the kindness, support and love everyone at the office has offered me.
You know we’re all colleagues and I am still a newbie. So, no one has to keep a check on my moods daily. But there have been people around me who have made me smile on days I was zoned out, checked on me and there have been people who have heard me rant about my theories and still accepted me.
Maybe I haven’t been able to accept the city but the 4 tables of Nimble Co-work have accepted me with open arms.
When all seems bleak, this is my light.
PS: Tell me, what is home for you? Maybe you’d have a solution to my problem.