The train came to a halt. Though a year has already passed, everything that happened right there was still fresh on his mine. It was January, it wasn’t suppose to rain, he thought. Growing up from a land far from where he now stands, he had heard a saying that when it rained unexpectedly in a place someone had just arrived, it is a welcome sign that the sky acknowledged his presence. It’s not that he believe in myths but he knew it was a sign, good or bad.
His whole life, he was confined more to the countryside. The sight that lies before him, it made him overwhelmed with amazement. This wasn’t the sight he had expected, what was he expecting then? Indeed he hasn’t thought about anything. A week ago, he was in his village wondering what to do with his life.
His whole life, people keeps telling him that he has to become a doctor. After the completion of his twelfth examination, he was admitted to a medical coaching institute in a nearby city. He was not so sure if being a doctor was what he wanted, but the pressure of his parents and relatives drove him to it. To the world of his parents and relatives, a medical doctor was the perfect profession, in the line with engineers or IAS officers. Every parents in his community has dreams of their sons and daughters becoming one of these three professions. To them, anything else is secondary and professed by weaker people who cannot compete with life.
The good marks he scored and the countless pressures that poured in from every directions, he had no choice but to take the path created by his parents and relatives. Three months passed, he knew deep in his heart that he was heading the wrong way and he started to realize how he would eventually regret taking this path sooner or later. A doctor was not what he wanted with his life to be. Though he might become rich and healthy, with the perfect job and the “Dr” prefixing his name, like his parents has always dreamt, he knew he was not going to attained this, he imagined waking up each morning hating himself for the rest of his life. Finally, he decided to stop this before he come to a place where there was no turning back. When this news broke out, the response was devastating to many. A big village, there is a PHC, and not a doctor, among many others. When a certain boy who made news few months back that he is trying to pursue the medical profession; and then after 4 months, overturn it; it made headlines.
The confusions created by people around him and the never-ending talks from relatives, it was psychologically disturbing to him. Everyone thought he would become the first doctor from his community. Although attaining this title won’t be so bad at all, he wanted to escape from this nerve-wrecking confusions and chaos. He has a brother who lives in Delhi, maybe he could help. Maybe he could escape from the maddening crowd.
There he stands on the platform in an unknown foreign land, with a bag next to him. This was a dream, this cannot happened. Everything looked strange to him, he hasn’t seen anything like this before. He was with two other travelers. They stepped out of the station and once outside, the environment was a total change. He could feel the cold winter wind on his face. It was still raining and had flooded the area outside the station. He could hear the buzz of vehicles all around, cars honking at him from every directions, and yet he was excited. A taxi was called and then putting the baggage on the trunk of the vehicle, he took the window seat so that he could enjoy the view of the enchanted city as the taxi headed south of the city. Like most taxis in the city, they hired an air-conditioned for a exciting and comfortable ride. It was a total change from what he sees back home. He was in another world. He feel himself like an officer travelling in the best car to attend the biggest event in the universe.
Being a new arrival, he could not figure out which direction he was taken to. He saw buildings, tall buildings, perfect lane, greenery, parks, everything was too good to be true. About an hour later, they were taken to a smaller lane, and then to an even smaller lane to a neighborhood, till the taxi stop at a corner of a building. He thought this must be the place. Close enough, they told him they have reached. They took their bags and then enter into a gali, to a building and then to another and at last to an unending stairs. On the fourth floor, they knocked on a door, and someone opened and smiled, welcoming them to the room. He wasn’t still so sure if this was all but a dream, this was too great to be real, too real to be a dream. It was not a dream, it was reality. He was in Delhi. He is in Delhi. That’s my story.
This day last year, the 18th of January, I stepped on Delhi’s soil and breath Delhi’s air. Exactly a year ago today, I took the journey to Delhi. I still have a couple of years to stay in this great city I fall in love with. I don’t know how things will pan out in the end, for now let us live with it.