Sabbatical of an Indian Girl

It is 12:16 pm and I am sitting in my cozy blanket with an electric blanket underneath in my parental home. It is raining outside. From my window, I can see snow clad mountains and my college friend’s house outside. It’s like a dream come true. I had never ever thought about the possibility or probability of this dreamy situation ever. When I was working in that 9 to 6 corporate setup in Delhi, I used to get up from the bed and just like a machine my body clock used to start since the moment of getting up from bed till the time my body got totally exhausted at night and this cycle used to repeat itself till Friday. Saturdays and Sundays were like a compulsory recharge pack so as to continue that vicious cycle again. Get up-prepare and pack lunch-catch metro-go to office-Do a job that I hated-return home-Sleep.

I hated my job back then. This started affecting my work quality as well. This caused a series of unavoidable events including me hating my job-my TL hating me-Boss hating TL-Finally Boss hating me-TL shouting on me in front of the whole team-Me getting expelled slowly and steadily via teamwork.

Although I got my sort of dream job after this, where I was allowed to work from home whenever I liked and I got the chance to learn new subjects on a daily basis. Life had planned something else for me.

I landed in a government job in a rural set up in Uttrakhand. Adjusting in such a slow and no-work culture after having spent almost 6 years in corporate setup was really challenging. I was left alone in a remote village filled with alcoholics and leopards without any family or friends. Somehow, I survived. I badly wanted and dreamed of only one thing after working my ass off since these 7 years-A sabbaticals.

Firstly I am an Indian, secondly, I am educated and thirdly I am a girl. Dreaming about a sabbatical is almost next to impossible. But, my dream has come true as I planned it in a clever way. I laid the foundation of this year-long sabbatical by planning my own pregnancy. I gave a deadline to my husband and things somehow fell into places after that. Here I am at my home sweet home watching travel shows on Netflix while enjoying the rainy and icy-cold weather of Himachal with a hot cup of Chai.

In the first month of my sabbatical, I completed my dream of traveling to Europe. I still do not believe that I have actually visited the dream locations anyone can ever imagine. I visited Rome, Amalfi coast, Positano, Firenze (Florence), Venezia (Venice), Athens, Mykonos, Santorini. Guys I even landed in Russia while Returning home. Can you believe?

Being a Bania, I used to famous for being Kanjus since school time. As my father is the only earning member for all 4 of us, I was never used to luxury and lavishness. Spending the money on traveling is another level of luxury for me. I am grateful to God for making this possible.

This sabbatical is even more interesting. I get to live at my parents’ home in Himachal and enjoy mom made food. Moreover, this is the first time in my life when my dad is telling me –Don’t focus on your career right now. Haaah!! Can you believe!!

Everyone is telling me to take everything at a slow and steady pace. Be it household work. Being a lazy bitch, I am so glad that I do not have to work now. I can sit surrounded by my favorite books, Netflix, TV and just try to cook new experimental recipes every day. Back in Delhi job days, even chopping vegetables for dinner or making gajar ka halwa used to be a celebrated event for me.

I cooked my husband’s favorite dishes after returning from my lavish, adventurous Euro trip. I made Sarson ka saag, Makki ki roti, gajar ka halwa, pao bhaji, and gobhi k paranthe for him with white homemade butter. This feat was impossible back in Delhi.

I was able to live a life like that of our parents days filled with fursat k pal. I enjoyed soaking in sun in winters while reading my favorite books. I enjoyed playing with my sister-in-law’s kids during their summer break in their nani house. I enjoyed talking endlessly with my sis-in-law while we exchanged our college memories. I enjoyed talking endlessly with my college roommates and laughing uncontrollably about our embarrassing college incidents.

Back in my parental home, I love every moment of re-living with them post-Vidai. I used to come home for a week like a jail se farar kaidi (prisoner) in Delhi job days. Once I remember that I felt so homesick that I simply dropped an emergency fake mail in my office and left for home. However, office people as expected didn’t leave me even at home. I was provided work-from-home even at home. I could not even watch a small movie with my dad in those 7 days. But now, I am sitting at home for 1 and a half month. I go for evening walks with my mom and dad every day. I enjoy mom-made tasty healthy food. Sometimes I go out with my best friends from college who live near my home. My roommate whom I know since I was 18 years of age is also my neighbor. I went to her home and we bragged about our interesting college life to her husband. These are the little things that matter the most to me. She knows me since I was a kid. I longed for actual friendships and having the time to keep those friendships in Delhi.

I feel blessed to be able to enjoy these little things in life as these little things matter the most in life. At least for my mental peace, this sabbatical is working its magic really well. I feel blessed.

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