Enjoying my Graduation Ball in London, May 2012
This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.
L FOR LONDON:
London is the vibrant and cosmopolitan capital of England. The city maintains its rich historical flavour, while being completely modern. It’s known for its wonderful art and culture, fabulous eateries, world-class museums, beautifully kept parks, and fantastic shopping.
I made London my home in 2011-12, while pursuing my Master’s degree.
There are many memories associated with this wonderful city, however, the incident I’ll relate today was a defining moment for me.
LEARNING LIFE LESSONS IN LONDON:
My Graduation Ball was held in May 2012. Everyone was excited to attend, as it was an opportunity for my batch-mates to mingle one last time. The venue was a hotel in central London. As a student, walking was the easiest and cheapest mode of transport, so, I carried a large bag and stashed my high heels and evening bag inside it. The large bag was stowed away in a cloak room during the event.
We left the venue close to midnight, shifting the party to a friend’s apartment. Around 10 of us waited for a bus at the nearest stop, to take us there. We were all quite drunk, chit-chatting away without paying attention to our surroundings. In the hubbub, I’d forgotten to zip the large bag I was carrying. When trying to pay the bus fare, I discovered my evening bag, which contained my phone, student id, credit cards, petty cash and transport cards; stolen from my large bag.
I was extremely upset. I immediately called my father in India, howling as if something far more serious had happened. My friends tried to be sympathetic, and practical; aiding me in cancelling my credit cards and phone plans; but they couldn’t understand why I’d reacted so dramatically to a simple theft. Truth be told, this was the second time I’d lost my wallet in London. I was upset with myself for being so irresponsible.
My year abroad was meant to have made me independent. Moving from a pampered and privileged life in Delhi, it was my first experience of adulthood and all its ensuing responsibilities. I cried endlessly that night, repeatedly calling my father for reassurance; because I felt an absolute failure. I couldn’t believe my carelessness after living on my own for almost a year.
The next morning, I learnt that while I was behaving like a child and bothering my father; my mother had been moved to the emergency ward of a hospital in Delhi, due to a sudden severe back injury. My father hadn’t told me this because I was very upset about my own silly problems. He’d been calming me down, while seated with my mother in hospital, the entire night.
That was a real jolt. I finally realised that the ability to pre-empt problems doesn’t make a person responsible. What makes a person responsible is the ability to deal effectively with problems that life inevitably throws at them. I strive to live by this idea.
Now, I’m better equipped to handle responsibilities, and I trust my own judgement. However, I still allow myself the occasional emotional outburst with my parents 😉
Come back tomorrow for the letter M and another story!
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Enjoying my Graduation Ball before the purse-snatching incident!
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