Life Lessons in London #BlogchatterA2Z

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London 5

Enjoying my Graduation Ball in London, May 2012

This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.


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.


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!

London 6

London 2

London 3

London 4

Enjoying my Graduation Ball before the purse-snatching incident!

welcome little one! (2)

Book a stay in London by clicking here.

*The copyright in all pictures belongs to nooranandchawla. 

**This is not a sponsored post, but it contains an affiliate link. If you book a stay using my link, I’ll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

A for AmritsarB for BhopalC for CambodiaD for Delhi,  E for England, F for France, G for Gwalior, H for Hemkund Sahib, I for Italy, J for Jim Corbett National Park, K for Kamakhya Devi Temple


  1. I can related coz I’m sailing in the same boat now. From a pampered girl raised in a joint family to staying all by myself in another country has taught me many lessons for life. By the way, you look great in black.

  2. I still call my father whenever I am stuck. Just a simple word of assurance from him works wonders. I have stayed away from home for 16 yrs yet the security blanket that parents offer is unparalleled.

  3. 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. #humareads #BlogchatterA2Z

  4. Nice photo. More Indian origin students that white Brits. White people no longer study or what? Too bad you lost your stuff. if you had lodged a police complaint, may be your stuff would have been recovered. Your dad showed great poise while dealing with two problems. Your mother’s back and your stolen stuff. Anyway, he could not have helped you from India, could he? All well, that ends well. You are happy, healthy and peaceful now.

    1. Thanks for the sweet message Abhijit 🙂 There were mostly white students, I just didn’t have photos with them 😃
      I did a lodge a complaint with the police, they couldn’t recover anything- in fact that whole experience was such a headache and a story for another time!

  5. Parents are the cover we always run to… and they always know how to calm us down. Amazingly they’re always there to hold our hand. This is an amazing bond. … lessons we keep learning though 🙂

  6. Running to our parents with our simplest of problems isn’t wrong, Noor. They’re the first people we confide in after knowing that we’ve messed up. Your Dad has amazing patience to handle you both at once. I truly think you were a bit harsh on yourself. A zip could’ve been easily opened, right?
    You’re looking gorgeous in those pictures!

  7. Your post made me emotional today dear as I too made such mistakes as I went across different nations for work and called back hubstar sobbing. I so loved your memoir.

  8. Life teaches the best of its lessons in a way we have never expected. Glad that you were not alone in that moment & could connect with your dad. You are looking stunning as ever in the pictures.

  9. Parents! Sigh! U need them even if u r 50. Lucky girl u r with such loving parents. I know how dads can be. I was his Anglo Indian mem he would say and my husband just doted on our daughter. You really look hot btw 🙂

  10. I love your honest take, ofcourse we lesrn from our mistakes but can repeat them again and again to keep learning .. btw you look grrag in all the pics

  11. A reassurance parents can provide is ummatched, I call Maa and Papa daily and whenever I am stuck or get hit by life’s unwarranted attacks papa is the first one to recieve my emotional outburst.
    We learn a lot of patience and perseverance form our parents.

  12. Lovely pictures 😍. We take our parents for guaranteed, expect them to pamper us and they do so brilliantly. In return, parents don’t want to disturb our peace and hide their problems from us.

  13. That’s so true, we create a mountain out of nothing, I realized this a couple of years ago after I overcame my depression and resolved to love life as much as I can. And to handle the situations maturely instead of blaming almighty and anyone else.
    Lovely post Noor.

  14. I really enjoyed reading this post. This brought back so many memories when I lived alone and how I panicked in small situations. Then slowly learnt to handle them and grew up .

  15. We all learn through our mistakes and with a supportive family and friends, the journey gets better. Every experience good or bad leaves us with a learning and that’s the beauty of it. Btw this reminds me of many such instances when I began to live alone 🙂

  16. Even after becoming a mom, I still have emotional outbursts and need all the pampering at times..thats ok..I guess it happens with everyone ..

  17. I believe the period of “Youth” has something hidden in it that makes us feel so so irresponsible for what we did and irresponsible for what we do as an action for that previous behaviour. I’ve too had some incidents which i laugh over now!

  18. Life is the best teacher and I can so relate to this as daily when life throws new chapters we need to be ready to learn…you have shared your learning in London in a great way!!

  19. Every place has so many memories attached and with those memories come some life lessons. I am loving your theme of the A to Z challenge.

  20. No matter how old one is or how far from his/her parents, they are only ones actually who got our backs. It was a scary incident. The toughest lessons in life are always learnt the hardest way.

  21. Life indeed teaches lessons in ways unknown and sometimes in harsh ways too. But if you look back you always see a purpose behind what happened. I am sure when you look back at the London incidents, you will feel that those thefts happened for a greater purpose in the scheme of things.

  22. You know it is always such incidents that leave a lasting impression… An impression that changes us as people! Loved reading this… Made me remember a few similar incidents of my life!

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