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4 months, 5 cities, 1 suitcase.
Just trying to get home
Hello! Been a while, hasn’t it? Life has gone through some big changes over these past 3 months and it still continues to surprise me at every turn. Some of you have been wonderful at supporting this newsletter and asking me every Sunday when the next one would come out. So you deserve to know the story for the last few months:
Here are the places I lived in over the past months:
February: Goa (1st week), Mumbai (as I write this now)
I knew I had to leave my previous job back in November. I set out for Mussoorie, riding the risk of unemployment during a pandemic, with nothing but a bag full of dreams for the life that I wanted to live (and some sweaters!). Little did I know that I had a disruptive couple of months ahead of me.
For a month I was away from what was happening in the world. The people here taught me that life really does not have to be as complicated as we all say it is. It is hard not to romanticise slower versions of life. It is simple up here, and so are the people. But I had to leave nevertheless.
I’m sure there’ll be a time in the future when I look back on these mountains and feel a longing. I ate and shared food with the locals, spent hours talking about their innocent ambitions & their life up there, ran through their little village, shopped from local groceries, got a haircut at a local barbershop, met a few great fellow travellers & got to know their stories. Although it was just a month, for this month I truly lived in the mountains. For some time, they were my home.
Here are some great pictures & videos from my stay there for you to check out again.
December was a mixed bag. I had a feeling that there were about to be big changes soon enough. Along with that, being back in Pune was a strange experience. I don’t think I had felt so detached from a metropolitan civilisation as much as I did in the month of November. Coming back to the city lights, traffic, pollution, noise and sheer number of people around me was unsettling for the first couple of days. I went to the parents’ house for a week to just be in some place familiar.
I found a new job and had to move to Delhi soon. I took up the job only as a means to an end, to be very honest. I wanted to shift the industry of work I was in, and this was a foot in the door even if not exactly what I wanted.
Despite the fact that I was leaving my hometown, the places I love and the people behind, I was restless to go—until the last week arrived. For the first time in 8 years, I felt like staying in Pune. I guess some times people just have the power to make you feel content in the moment, take a pause, stop running, stay.
I started 2021 by moving to Delhi, again with my dear suitcase. I really wish you could see how it is filled with travel stickers from all the flights I’ve ever taken. (Looks amazing, but I doubt my mother likes it!)
Time in Delhi flew by before I could get acclimatised to the cold weather, the food that didn’t stay warm enough just 2 minutes off the stove, water that had to be heated up to bring it to room temperature, metro trains that took me from West to South to Noida to Gurgaon, and wearing 3 layers to bed.
I spent the month living inside my own head, and admittedly, I was harsh on myself. I doubted myself, second guessed every single small decision I took, felt afraid of actually admitting that I had moved to Delhi even though I was looking for houses, felt uninspired at work and felt a terrible ache in my heart the whole time.
The truth is, I felt lonely. I’ve always figured things out for myself, alone. But I have never felt lonely before. Gratefully, I had people around me who cared enough to host me, show me new places, and yet I stayed inside my shell. The tears remained shielded behind the doors of my eyes, and I did whatever I could to put my soul into my smile.
17th Jan, another opportunity came knocking at my door that opened up a real chance of working on something greater—and I took it without hesitation. I had barely started working at this job in Delhi a month ago—but I risked it nonetheless. I was advised not to, told to be rational, asked to not tell the truth to my managers, but I couldn’t do any of that. I chose the new opportunity, told the truth to my managers, risked my heart again and left.
Despite a tough month in Delhi, the last few days made me wonder if I should stay back, choose security & stability, give more time to my heart to try and stay, maybe figure it all out. I finally let myself cry.
I have very different memories of Goa than what another mid-twenties individual would have. I have never been to party here, let alone be wasted or hungover. For some time, Goa has been one of those places where I feel at home (or at least I did until 2018). Honestly, I just wanted to be somewhere familiar after the rollercoaster of a January. The place remains as beautiful as I remember.
Here are some pictures and videos from the trip that you should check out!
Mumbai. What could one say about this city that hasn’t been said before already? The city fascinates me, draws me in, makes me a part of itself every single time I happen to be here. I’ve lived here from 2017 to 2019, so it isn’t my first time living here. But this time feels different.
I am going to live in Worli this time around, as close to the heart of the city as I can get—the old Mumbai, South Mumbai, Town—whatever one may call it. It is my first day here today and I’m already captivated.
My new work starts tomorrow (wish me luck!), and I wanted to get back to writing at the same time. So there you are, all caught up with why I disappeared from here some time.
I read some engrossing books that I want to talk about in my next newsletter. For now, I’m dropping in the titles and authors:
All of them are very well written—of course, drastically different writing styles and premises. I’ve enjoyed them all nevertheless.
This newsletter is a place to document my learnings, my travels, stories I come across, food, books, movies, podcasts, resources—all of it. I hope you still wish to read it, and I hope it adds some value to you. I’ll be working on it every week.
Thank you for reading today & talk to you next Sunday!
In the meantime if you like this, show some love & tell your friends! ♥️