Beautiful and vibrant, cheerful and outgoing, confident, fun-loving and adventurous
She was unlike any of the words described above. Never appreciated her beauty and was never confident to call herself smart. Always shy, held up in her own cocoon. One can not say she wasn’t fun-loving, but her definition of fun was different. Going for a long walk on a silent road is fun, imagining yourself as the protagonist of the book is fun, alone is fun, sharing a memorable experience with just one person beside you is fun. One can not call her unadventurous, for she has created a beautiful alternate life for herself in her mind. But, she was consistently fearful to live the alternate life. Eternally scared that her silence was mis- interpreted, she was trying to live through this world that always judged quiet individuals. It was an escape for her to get lost in her own thoughts, creating a different life for herself.
The clock ticked 7. It was her daily evening routine to spend time in her friends’ room, for all of them were finding a home away from home in the university hostel. And she realised that another day in her boring life was about to pass away, until her phone ringed giving her a notification that she has received an e-mail. Unaware of the contents of the e-mail, she was curious to read it. Indeed, the mail carried good news, as she has been selected to study in Paris for 6 months. Within no time, she was flooded with appreciations from her friends, family, and acquaintances. Just a few moments ago, she thought that a boring day was ending in her life, while now it felt like she was one step away from changing her life.
Paris- the city of romance, fashion capital of the world. Call it by any name, but it is every person’s dream to visit the city once in lifetime. One decision and she could get a completely new experience. With a tinge of excitement and fear at the same time, she was again lost in her thoughts, a dilemma whether to continue in this boring life, or try to overcome all fears and get a new experience in life.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen, we would like to announce the departure of our flight AF277, from Hyderabad to Paris. All the passengers are requested to get on-board immediately.’ The announcement made her happy yet scared her at the same time. Luggage packed, she was ready to experience a new phase of life, to explore Europe.
7 a.m., Central European Time. Her flight landed in Paris. It still felt like a dream. She couldn’t process her surroundings yet, for she couldn’t believe herself to be in Paris for real. Questions of the Migration Officer, luggage belts screeching, people running to get to their life, it was a complete chaos around her. Suddenly, she felt the pain of being alone in an unknown country. This thought must have scared her, yet it excited her at the same time. It felt like a right opportunity to create an identity for herself. Finding her way out of the airport, she went in search of her new home for the next 6 months.
‘Hello, Welcome Home’ She heard her new roommate’s ringing voice welcoming her. A 25-year-old, cheerful and confident Indian girl. One of the first persons she met in Paris. Indeed, she felt welcomed and less lonely. Her roommate seemed to have a contrasting personality, for she was an affable and gregarious girl. The new girl in Paris was yet again lost in her thoughts about this opportunity and imagining the next 6 months with her new roommate.
The next morning, she woke up vibrant and curious to explore this opportunity, to hunt for the hidden treasure in this new university. Bag packed, route map on her phone, she thought she was ready to leave. The city was felt alive even at 8 in the morning. People running to get to their work, she felt that they were like puppets in the hands of the society. And, she continued to follow her route map.
Thirty minutes passed, she was on the streets, lost in the beautiful city of romance. The route map on her phone was lost and the phone stopped working. Neither does she remember the way back home nor does she know the way to the university. Cherry on top, she couldn’t ask anyone for directions due to the language barrier. Hopeless of her situation, with a baffled look on her face, she started to have second thoughts about her decision to come abroad. She has already lost the confidence in herself and wanted to go back to her safe zone again. She felt abandoned on the streets of this busy city.
‘Bonjour Madame, tu as l’air désorienté.’ She saw a hand on her shoulder and a comforting look on the man’s face, yet she did not understand what he said.
‘I am sorry, I don’t know French.’ She sighed.
‘Oh, I am sorry. U look very confused madam; would you require some help?’ hearing the man she felt hopeful again.
Explaining her situation, she asked the man to help her find a way to the university. Luckily, with the help of a random man she found the way to her new class. Everything felt lively all over again.
Reporting to her new co-ordinator, she received her student card and this felt like her first achievement. Feeling obliged, she made way to her first class. All her life, she was living in the fear of being judged, living as any other person in the society. She was a shy little girl, who couldn’t converse easily. Being around people never felt comfortable as she couldn’t be herself. But for the first time, she wanted to show everyone who she really was. She wanted to know for herself who she really was. It is a matter of interest to know whether this opportunity has changed her for the better or for the worse.