In February this year, I quit my job. At that time, the CEO to whom I reported to asked me if I could leave a little later. As hard as it is for me to stay no, I said no. “I want to see being without the steadiness of a corporate job affects me,” I told him.
A week later, I was in Gujarat at the invitation of Gujarat Tourism to cover the beautiful Kutch festival. I had never been to Gujarat. Indeed, I haven’t been to too many places in India, my quest for travel having taken me to many places outside India. Home can always wait, I thought. I was with a friendly yet distant group of travel agents who were all clubbed together on a familiarization trip of Gujarat. I don’t remember particularly connecting with any of them. I felt like I was the intruder. The online travel operator who the travel agents detested and despised. I also felt I didn’t deserve to be there. I was not the seasoned travel professional these people were. I didn’t have revenues running into millions of rupees. One travel professional casually said, “I lost Rs 65 lakhs running a travel franchise.” Travel lingo floated over my head. “Do you do inbound or outbound?” I was asked repeatedly. I had had no idea what these were. It was a rude change from the world which I had just left. There, I was the mistress of all I surveyed. I fit into THAT world, knowing a turn of phrase and catching editors for poor use of the language. Here, I was out of place and I withdrew into myself.
It was then that I was caught reflecting on my self.
Was I any good at all?
Would I even be good at this?
What the hell was I doing?
Years of carefully cultivated bravado in the corporate word blew away into smithereens. I was lost, a lamb again. I had to pick myself up through the harsh pool of my vulnerability.
One day, early in the morning, we were taken to the Little Rann of Kutch, a sanctuary for India’s last remaining herd of wild asses. There had been vulgar jokes about the poor animals in the jeep as we bumped through a cold and wintry morning. There were wild asses in the stark landscape but the Little Rann of Kutch sanctuary has also been a bird watcher’s paradise. We come across this marsh/lake and there are the most beautiful pink flamingos, limpid legs of elegance against the silhouettes of the rising sun. I watch them a while, separate from the group I was with. I so wanted to bend my head too and not care about lifting it again. To just keep one’s head down and search, search, search…
I realized I want to search again for my self despite my fear of vulnerability.
4 Replies to “Reflection”
Thank you so much for commenting, Vishy. Feedback like yours keeps me going. I think I really struggled with the picture. I just had no idea how to focus. 🙁 THAT I think is a reflection and symbol of my life too…
So beautiful, Smitha! Loved the post and the whole series! Beautiful picture too! Thanks for sharing!
Fantastic post. Change can be hard, but, like the flamingos, if you keep your head down in search long enough, eventually you will find food. Congrats to you for leaving your comfort zone! 🙂
Hi Mandy! Thank you so much for your kind words. Yes, something to learn from the flamingos, definitely! Hoping that I will find something….