Why I chose to live away from my parents
A quick chat this morning made me think about why I chose to live away from my parents. Sanch’s post longing for family struck a chord and even when many hours had passed since we spoke, thoughts kept brewing.
I am from Azamgarh. A small city tucked far east in UP and away from the modern metros of then and today. Papa came to Azamgarh for his first job, got married and that’s how this city became our hometown. There were good schools and we had what we needed for the first 17 years of our life. But then, it did not have much to offer in terms of what I wanted to do and the kind of exposure my parents wanted me to have.
To become an engineer, I had to take entrance tests – the IIT JEE and UPSEAT. Yes I know there is AIEEE today but in those days, there were many exams and the best chances were via the state entrance tests or the national ones. There was B.Tech, then my interest in VLSI and then the first job in Bangalore. There was no looking back once I left.
I chose to live away from my parents and they wanted me to leave their nest and grow wings of my own.
Papa never picked me up and dropped me to Greater Noida when I was studying. I learnt how to get reservation done and travel on my own. There were no online reservations back then and flights were out of question. With a seat or without one, I learnt how to talk to other students, manage things, and safely come home for Diwali. Then, travel back to college.
Mum and Papa never came to my hostel to check and inspect the food that was being provided. Mum told me to keep a bottle of jam and have it with parathas if the curry was too spicy. They knew I would be able to manage.
They told me to save time and hire a help to wash my clothes. I did. I was able to invest time in teaching others. They taught me what to delegate and what to own.
They told me to take care of my health and eat well. I never cared if the other girls laughed at me when I walked into the kitchen with a five rupee coin to get a glass of milk after dinner. I learnt to manage my expenses without missing my glass of milk.
When I applied for jobs, I failed. They stood by me but let me handle it on my own.
When I got a job, I had to travel another 1000 kms and they supported. Again, they did not come to drop me and find a suitable paying guest accommodation. They knew I would be able to figure it out on my own. The wings that they wanted me have were there and I was able to fly on my own.
They did not ask where was I spending my salary. They spoke of saving well.
I was a 17-year-old when I left home and if I hadn’t, I would not be the person I am today. I do miss my family. Who doesn’t want to come home to parents with the first salary of life? Who wants to come back from work and not ring the bell? I celebrated success with friends and called my parents at every milestone.
Now being married, I have another home but I still miss my parents. I can’t visit them over weekends or walk over for a quick chat or dine with them when I want. This year I went back home after four years but I meet my parents every year. That doesn’t make me a hippie like someone remarked recently. Their love and trust makes me strong.
I long for my family and the life many of my friends have but I chose to live away to make a life of my own. Longing for family has been my strength as that brings me closer to them. I don’t think or talk about this often cos I want to stay strong and let my wings grow as much as they can.
For Day 15 of #NaBloPoMo, I am sharing a piece of my heart.