My life in Mumbai#WHATELSE Karabi Talukdar • June 14, 2017
Moving to a new city can be both exciting and daunting. There are so many pros and cons to weigh up, but just like all the other adult things in life—you gotta do what you gotta do. And, I did. Fresh out of college in a stately city like London, my move to this anarchic city of Mumbai fell a little in the latter category of daunting. It was overwhelming. No one from my family had ever lived here. But having survived Delhi before this, I figured I could do this. So here I was, a single girl living in the city of dreams, with no game plan whatsoever…this is my story.
Before the big move:
First things first. Accommodation!
My first move was to take care of my accommodation. I couldn’t do it from London because the Mumbai way of doing things is “in-person”. I ended up staying at the YWCA hostel in Mumbai while figuring out my career options.
Leaving London, after having had a concrete plan to settle there was extremely disheartening. And to add to it, not knowing what to expect of Mumbai or whether I could make it in this unknown but renowned city only made things worse.
Everything from the day I landed and feeling stranded at the airport (due to the lack of people to contact and not having a sim card) to finally getting into my hostel room after phone calls and arguments with the hostel warden to sign me up, I knew one thing for sure about Mumbai —nothing comes easy in this city.
So, I was finally in Mumbai. But, it did not get any easier. I was still getting a hang of the city, the cultural shift and all that jazz. What made this all this more frustrating was that I had to do all my work without a phone, let alone an internet service, for an entire week, because here you need an address proof to get such connections. What a downer! I remember hunting for PCOs and internet cafes to get my work done and I have to admit it was funny, because it was 2013! But anyway…
I kept in touch with my family via Facebook until I got my phone and occasionally used my roommate’s phone to make calls. I approached few friends on Facebook, asking them to help me settle in and I struck gold! I came across this amazing person, who happened to be from Assam too. He not only helped me with the basics but also helped set up my first ever job interview in Mumbai.
It wasn’t an easy process though, for I interviewed at a lot of places and not everything worked out. I didn’t give up. I ended up settling for a job that honestly paid me much less than I deserved. I knew it was just a start and hence I took it.
It’s been 4 years now and I am glad I have adjusted to this fast-paced city.
I feel elated to say that right now, I am working on my own and living like I wanted. It was difficult to have it all in a hostel. So after nine months of living the strict life, I started apartment hunting. It was another task altogether but happily an online post solved all my issues. It ticked all the boxes that I had in mind and I signed up instantly!
So yes, it’s been a hell of a ride in Mumbai. Right from coming through a family with a business mindset, having no one to advise me on how the corporate world functions, or on how to make a living on my own outside Assam (yes, that’s a first as well), I think this city has taught me a lot and I’m excited for the next set of adventures that lie ahead.