I’m currently locked out of my bathroom.
The locksmith is an hour or so away, familiar with where I live and what he needs to do, because he solved the same problem yesterday. It’s early morning so my black coffee must do as an anti-bacterial mouthwash for now.
Nothing like a sloppy start to life in a new city.
After spending almost a year meandering around Maharashtra, Pune seems like a city with the right balance — just the right amount of hustle and bustle, and cheaper than the other urban behemoths.
It should be my home for now. Or for a while. Hopefully for a long time. And that is important because ever since I decided to quit New York and Corporate America some four years ago, there has never been this amount of certainty about staying put in one city.
The last few years have been full of restarts. Life was condensed into a large enough suitcase, and then it was time to hop around the globe, one continent at a time. That suitcase was the only physical constant.
Even though these restarts took place in different parts of the world, the pattern of adaptation was similar — find an apartment, make sure it has good internet, find a place to play football and find the courage to make new friends so you don’t feel alone and miserable.
And then, just when there is an inkling of rhythm and comfort, it is time to pack that suitcase up again and move. This happened so often that towards the end I stopped fully unpacking my suitcase. Why bother.
But amidst all this uprooting, I found constant opportunities to purge and cleanse. Starting afresh in a new country meant that I had a clean slate of sorts. I tried to weed out parts of me that I was not proud of while doubling down on those that reaped better relationships, stronger morals and less self-loathe.
I also got a chance to take the best from each culture and hold on to it, even if it seemed strange to the next country. Exposure to a wide range of people and thoughts gave me a level of tolerance and open-mindedness that no book or institute can provide.
But, enough of that.
Real change takes time and commitment. While frolicking around the world is a glamorous luxury I have been fortunate to have, it’s at best only a decent education and at worst, a hedonistic treadmill treading towards perceived, epicurean superiority.