I wasn’t a very easy child to live with. In fact, my parents had just one kid, and I think they had their hands so full that it’s incredible. So from not doing well at school work suddenly and coming back late from school giving just about any pretext, focusing more on extracurricular activities than actual subjects at school, picking fights with teachers, I didn’t leave any of it behind. So after my class 12 board exams, my parents decided to execute their long term plan of moving me to another city to study. Knowing scope in my home town was limited, and job scene not very good afterwards, I reluctantly agreed.

The city was nice, but different food, people, language and no friends. Add to that ragging and a crazy hostel warden, it wasn’t easy. But as is usually the case, people around you come to the rescue. A bunch of class mates who were usually just studying by themselves in the basketball court decided to take this one riotous, unruly girl under their wing, even though she wouldn’t attend any classes or study. Before our class exams, they would stand and explain concepts to me, articulating the best they could, as I didn’t understand their local tongue. That didn’t dissuade them. Some of them jokingly started saying I would score more in tests than them, after learning from them. That didn’t deter them either.

I can confidently say that I passed various semesters because of that bunch of guys who probably took me on as a charity case. They were some of the initial friends I made here. Now we are not in frequent touch, but bump into each other at friends’ weddings and of course face book. But my gratefulness hasn’t disappeared with time. And it has been a good eight years since then! Now all of us are in different places in life – some working, some studying more. Every time I remember them, I think of their effort and time, and the difference it made in my life. Now things are stable in comparison. Distance, in our case, did make our hearts go fonder for my folks and me. But my doing well in life is somehow attributed to the friends of the basketball court, who would ensure that from class tests to the semester exams, I knew things of the course and that I was well prepared. It’s not always easy to want to start a new life. You also need a good backbone of friends who can pull you into it. These guys were part of that life line for me.

Leaving things behind is never easy whether it’s for an adolescent or for a full grown adult. The only thing that can make it better are friendly faces around, to make the changes easier. #StartANewLife

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