Each time I go back to India and imagine what my life would have been like had I stayed home in Bombay instead of making the decision to leave for hostel life and for a new city thereafter, I feel a huge sense of relief. Not at leaving my parents, but at leaving an environment that would never have let me see the world as I see it today. Only those who have known me over the last 10 years can attest to the fact that the change has been nothing short of miraculous, and unanimously described as a step in the right direction.
At the prospect of a mind that opened like it did when exposed to new cities, new people and multiple cultures, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief. At that, and at having escaped the person I could have turned into. And immense gratitude for everything I've had the privilege of experiencing in the last decade.