On the 8th of January, 2011 I completed one whole year in London. On 9th of Jan 2010,Sid took me out on my first walk to Canary Wharf. I clicked some pictures then which I have often seen and wondered how I had the courage to leave everything behind and come to an alien land where I hardly knew anyone except my husband. It has been an interesting year with all its ups and downs. A lot has happened in this one year.
I managed to find a job for myself that was much better than I thought I would ever manage. While there are enough days when I wish I could stay in bed a little longer, I am deeply grateful for work. It is part of my identity and I love most of it.
I travelled. Many countries and cities including bits of UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Wales, Amsterdam and Morocco. Add to that 2 trips to India and viola you have my travel itinerary for the year.
I learnt to cook. Before I came to the UK I had NEVER cooked a full meal. Never ever expect for one time when my Mum had taken bro for some med exam. I can now cook easily for a party of 6-8. 8 we have not yet done, but I am sure I can manage it with ease. I can make dosa-sambhar and all kinds of paranthas and pooris.
I am picking up a slight accent. Particularly when speaking to the firangs, yes that has started to happen. I am now rarely asked to repeat myself meaning that they understand my accent as well! I have been very consciously resistant to the idea of picking up the British accent but unknowingly a little bit of change is creeping in the way I speak.
I have learnt to dress better. Yes, I dress better now. It was almost a culture shock to see women dressed better for grocery shopping than I was for my own wedding. People really care about their appearances here ( and spend a lot on it) and appreciate it if others do too. I very rarely see anyone dressed badly in London. So, yes, while I am not crazy about it all, I do manage to pull myself and present myself better. After a year of practice, I have actually started enjoying the process a lot more than I did before.
I have learnt to take rejection. It was a difficult lesson, but like most things difficult, a very important lesson.
Started to paint: I have spent many happy hours painting stuff. Something I never thought I would ever do!
Saw TOO many Movies. Oh boy! Did I watch movies? I watched so many many movies that I have lost count of them! But I just love it and am glad I can do this in London.Also, no matter the count of movies, I am yet to come out of a Bollywood movie and not sigh and think that I should make a movie one day.
Got interviewed by the Best Bschool in the world. Okay I did not get through and neither did I go there for an MBA degree but I did get interviewed by the faulty. It was an amazing experience.
Read a lot. Everyone reads a lot here. The tubes in the morning are packed but you can hear a pin drop. Why? Because everyone is busy reading something. The good aprt about this is that there are some really good libraries here and hence a steady supply of books which is something I always sorely missed back in India.
Wrote my first book. Yes. I have written my first book. I have the best publisher I could have hoped for and if all goes well, you will see the book in the market in 6 months time. And this is all that I will say about my book at this stage. I still feel something might go wrong and am rather jittery about the whole thing.
So, as you can see, it has indeed been a busy busy year.