After my return, days passed but our conversations continued over text messages, as my phone got spoiled on that trip. We fell for each other as our admiration metamorphosed to affection.
I had planned to go for further studies abroad, after my Masters course. It had been my dream to go to Edinburgh and study there. I applied, and I got the results exactly two weeks after we got back from our Goa trip. I got through. I got a good Scholarship too. There was nothing that could go wrong, I told myself – my plan was going to come out right. Nonetheless, things in life are not that easy, are they?
My father faced a huge business loss, with his major source of income falling into a conflicting situation. My family expected me to not go to Edinburgh at such an unexpected turn of events. I was shattered, at first, and then lost.
Being someone who always knew what was going to be my next major step in life, I found myself completely lost, clueless of my future and at a position where I did not have a plan B. Our course in Calicut ended, and as guided by our curriculum, I took up an Internship in Goa. I packed the clothes I needed and got myself on a train from Calicut to Madgaon. I moved to Goa. I transported rest of my stuff in carton boxes and sent it back home.
While working in Goa, I interacted with all kinds of people, with unique individual differences and backgrounds. There was one thing in common among everyone I met. I sensed a deep longing for belongingness, a search for home away from social expectations, a need for acceptance. They were the lost kind, and I’d be lying if I say I wasn’t a part of them. With all the plans crashed into the ocean like a plane, I felt clueless about what I was going to do with my life. I met Pranay as he was visiting Alex from Bombay, and got to know him too – who is my business partner too, apart from Alex and Arjun.
Coming from Psychology background, I understand the importance of social relationships and groups. I was aware of how communities that give you a safe space can also act as a tool for healing. ‘Therapeutic Communities’ is a concept of Psychology, which I told Alex I wanted to apply and start something of my own.
I was awarded as the Youngest Woman Achiever of the city for the work Gramiksha does – Children welfare and education, so I traveled to Gwalior to receive the award. In the event, I saw my parents feeling proud of me, as some of the influential people came and congratulated me. I used this opportunity to tell them about my interest in building a community and what I was planning to do, on the same car ride.