While my mind was amazed at the coincidence of the dates, I was both excited and anxious of what life had to offer me now. Exactly 7 years back, on 30th June 2008, I had left Nagpur to pursue my Masters in Management from Mumbai, and now I had boarded the train back home. With no job, but a purpose in life, I had commenced this uncertain, yet assertive journey back to my source.
I bid the final good bye to my friends who came to see me off, and boarded the train. While few of them still waited for the train to start, I, as usual, started interacting with people in my compartment and yes one of them, a young boy, was a passionate backpacker based in Nagpur. What a wonderful start, I thought.
So as we are aware, when travellers meet, stories don’t end and everyone around is listening.
He reacted, “Seven years, and now you’re shifting to Nagpur, Why? What will you do there. And you stay in East Nagpur, you know how people are there.” I smiled and thought, you are adding to my worry, but with a calm face I replied to all his anxiousness.
“Nagpur is my hometown, the city indeed doesn’t run like Mumbai, but it has lots to offer and I have my family there. I have people to take care, I have missed that love for years, that peace of mind. Also, now I am going back home with a project, a purpose.” Till then, Rujuta, a fellow passenger based in Mumbai but visiting her grandma in Nagpur, joined in the conversation.
She was interested in our project, rather the cause “Happy Travelling Girl” and moreover was interested to know how will I manage it from Nagpur. While, I was busy explaining things to her, everyone in the compartment had their ears on the conversation, and yes we were too engrossed to realize it.
After a point, while the travel stories and experiences continued, the conversation stretched again to Nagpurians, esp. in the east, the typical mentality that girls should get married at a particular age, and so on.
That’s when we heard a firm voice saying “Bas, bahut hua, ab yahan pe Nagpur ke bare mein koi buri baat nahi hogi” (Enough, now no one will talk ill abou Nagpur here). We all tuned to look at the lady sitting near the window. The first question we asked was “Aap Nagpur mein kahan rehete ho?” (Where do you stay in Nagpur).
Well before the argument would heat up, I smiled and replied, “We aren’t saying Nagpur is bad, I love the city, esp. during monsoon and winters. I love the greenery, the wide roads and people too. But their is a difference. There is a gap and that is what we are discussing, and yes it does exist. East Nagpur is different from West. Nothing good or bad about it.”
This same thought had worried me, I was going to face a culture shock, rather I was facing that very moment.
But then, we travellers belong everywhere. We have seen and experienced various cultures, have met and interacted with many and different types of people, but nothing really changes us. We are ourselves always, the independent explorers who either know the way out or will figure a way out. Isn’t it?
Well what happened post that, we respected their opinion and started talking about travelling in India again. The sharing continued till wee hours. 🙂