Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dear Mum,

January 09, 2009

Dear Mum,

I guess you will be pleasantly surprised to receive this letter. After all, we have been speaking over the phone every seven to ten days and there is no need really for me to send you one.

Mum, your phone call this evening probably prompted me to put my thoughts down on paper. Yes, I miss you too. Isn’t that obvious? Only I have not said it as much before. In another ten days, it will be four months since I first came to live and study in London. And what an experience it has been so far!

I will be honest enough and say that the first month was difficult. There was so much to do. From moving in to a new place I shared with others, to cooking, doing the laundry and attending Uni. – it was all so overwhelming. There were days (and nights) when I wondered if I had made the right choice. I wondered whether it was really worth the effort. Even now, friends, acquaintances and ex-colleagues back home in Mumbai express their surprise and shock over my decision to quit work and go back to school.

Yet, as far as I can remember, I have always wanted to do my Master’s. Over the last couple of years, as disillusionment with my work and what I did set in, my desire to study further only strengthened. Given my journalism background, it was even more surprising to many that I decided to do my Master’s in Media Management. But honestly, doesn’t it make more sense? Combined with my previous knowledge of what I know about the media industry, I can now apply what I have learnt in a new management role. Yes, it does seem a bit of a risk to take at this stage of my life and career. I am worried that I might just have to start right at the bottom again. But as they say, it is only when you risk the fall will you survive!

Going back to Uni. after so many years has been quite tough. Since management is a completely new subject for me, the task has not been any easier. There is so much to do in terms of reading, research and assignments that some of it does not make any sense at times. But you know what? I am enjoying the challenge of being a student again. I am actually applying and using my brains for a change, instead of mechanically going through day-to-day tasks. I dare say I have always been a little cocky about being smart and intelligent and all of that, but being in a Master’s class has put a lid to that. Some of my classmates bring years of industry experience and keeping up with them is a task in itself!

London
has not only been about work; it has also been about some fun times! I have fallen in love with this city and its people. Then again, I have always been a big city guy. I love the lights, the pace and the rhythm of London. I like the fact that I can walk about in Central London all by myself, waft in and out of a Starbucks with a coffee to go and sit at Piccadily Circus for hours together. I have met so many wonderful people from across the world and come to realise that whoever we are, wherever we are from, each one of us has the same fears, aspirations and the quest for a better life. I am learning about new places and new cultures, new ideas and new values. And that more often than not despite our differences, we are all the same.

I would like to believe that London has changed me in more ways than one. I have definitely become more focussed about life and career and where I see myself as a professional in a few years from now. It is a ‘Suddenly Salil’ moment for me – I feel so grown up and responsible and I have realised that there is still so much I have to do and achieve. Sometimes I wonder if one lifetime will ever be enough. Yet deep down there is a confidence in me that gives me the courage to grab this opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Just last weekend over dinner, I remember saying, “Within the next ten years I will be among the top 10 young media professionals of India.” Gosh! And no, it was not the alcohol talking. How can I ever thank you and dad and repay you for giving me this opportunity? Not to mention the family and friends who made it possible too.

I have rambled on for a fair bit, so I will stop now. Do not worry about me, I am fine. I have my old friends in London and the new ones I have made to look out for me. They are just a phone call away. Let me know how Dad’s operation goes. Of course I will call to find out. And yes, a happy 59th birthday to you mum!

With love and longing in London,

~ salil
ps: I love you...

Image courtesy: departmentv.net

1 comment:

rama said...

hi:)this is such a beautiful post. it epitomises what many of us are going through here. in parts of your post, i felt it was my own voice, my own words...