Hyderabad, I miss you. And I miss myself along with you.

Living alone was one of the dreams that I never knew I had. Living with friends, F.R.I.E.N.D.S taught me, was an even better dream to have. This living alone time came and flew away so quickly, I hardly got time to grasp it all. And here I am, thinking back and wondering if it’s ever going to happen again.

I am about to complete one year since the time I came to visit home for 2 months, and I mentioned this to every person who asked me because I needed a constant reminder that I am not done with Hyderabad yet, that I’m gonna go back. 2 months turned to 3 to 4 and then reality struck that going back is not happening so soon. I left that city for good, while not even getting a chance to go back and say goodbye.

This city, perfectly balanced between happening and laid back, safe enough to never let me feel I cannot go somewhere because I am a girl, and empowering me in the process, will always remain special in my heart. Letting me make new friends, and helping in re-kindling old faded friendships, teaching to stay alone even in a crowd and also somehow making me feel whole when I used to be alone, this city has given me all kinds of days; good, bad, happy and sad.

From a timid college fresher, always second guessing herself and asking for reassurances, to a grown up, helping others fight the same battle; looking from this other end of the spectrum reminds me of the innocent and scared person I used to be. But I cannot separate that person from this city because that’s where that person used to live. I am afraid that going back is never going to be the same (if it happens), because people, relationships, situations, and even I would have changed. I do look forward to more challenges that are gonna come in front of me, and I know I am a more mature person than I used to be to face them. But goodbyes are always difficult. Here’s to the goodbye I never got to say, and one which I would like to say, even if I go back.

To the experiences I had, and the ones I couldn't,
To the person I was, and the one into whom I grew,
Hyderabad I miss you.
And I miss myself along with you !

Gratitude

Amidst these difficult times, everyone is striving and trying to do their best. I do not really want to comment on what should or could have been done differently because I am not best equipped to shed light on that. But I do want everyone to hold on to every string of positivity that we can, to show gratitude to all the people and things.

I am grateful to all the shopkeepers and daily workers around me that were always there to provide with the necessities on our every beck and call. Be it the shopkeeper who was delivering the medicine to our society, or the vegetable vendor that my mom could call to provide certain fruits and vegetables to us. And also to the guard and other helpers working in our society who kept delivering everything till our flat’s gate because we weren’t allowed to step out. They were not doing this just for my family but for all those families that were infected in our society. I am grateful and thankful to all these people for putting up with my and my families’ needs first, even though they were at risk as well.

I am grateful to all the helpful families that live nearby us, who kept asking us if we needed anything, kept sharing their experiences and all the tips and tricks they used to get over the illness themselves. And I am so grateful to all the aunties near me who provided us with proper home cooked meal because we lacked the energy to do so. I cannot even express how much it meant to us and I cannot imagine how they were so selfless and upfront about it. I keep imagining to cook a lot of tasty food for them whenever I can!

I am grateful to all my friends who kept checking up on me, who kept making me feel better and asked about my whereabouts from time to time. And also for keeping the conversation light hearted at times, because that is what we need in these times, something to hold on to and not to be reminded of the bad things all the times. Thank you for always being there.

But I am not just grateful to the people who helped me directly or indirectly. I am grateful to all those people who are in a similar or maybe a worse situation than me and who are doing everything in their power to survive through it all. I cannot imagine the hardships of millions of people out there, who might not have the same facilities that I have. I am grateful for people for fighting and not giving up. I am grateful to all those selfless souls, doctors, other front line fighters, and all the people who are constantly helping others for any contacts round the clock, for doing all those things that I don’t think I could have done. I am also grateful to all those people who are putting aside their personal plans because of the current situation, because that ain’t easy for anyone to do after so much planning. But this in no way undermines anyone who had to go through any plan because everyone faces different circumstances and does what is the best for them.

I know we will all get through it all, because that is inevitable. Yes the world will be a little more difficult to be in with so much pain, so much suffering and loss, but we gotta stick together through it all and do our part as much as we can, whilst also caring about our physical and mental needs, because everyone needs time to recover and everyone cannot be a superhero. So just let’s do whatever we can, guilt free, but let’s do our part because together we can all survive it!