When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?
Here’s a few times when I felt like I was really grown up. I mean not even as a young adult but as a full fledged adult. I was 19 and had joined a Polytechnique in Bangalore to study Computer Science hardware software. Now, I dropped out of the course after one year because my scores for the first year were so bad, I realized that there was no real point in continuing and that I should just get back to Cochin and do some course in software closes to home and try my luck in some other line. But during the year I was there, after the initial few months of adjusting to a shitty hostel with bad food and the idiots who were in it and the new city, I felt quite comfortable. I was somewhat on my own and I was happy. Whenever I traveled to and from Cochin to Bangalore, I did it alone, in the overnight bus trips and would listen to music all night on my walkmen (before mp3 players dude, this is circa 1995-96) and it felt great. However at the end of the year I knew I should quit so I did and booked my return tickets on a train as I needed to get all my stuff back.
That day was a bummer for me, I was upset and discouraged. I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours the previous night and was so tired. I took my 3 big bags and headed to the train station only to find out that I had missed the train to Cochin and had to wait till around 8 pm for the next one, which left me with 10 hours to kill. I kept the smallest of the 3 with me and stored the other two at a counter and wandered around the city area near the station. After lunch I needed some sleep so I found that there was a dormitory style bedding available for a reasonable price in the station with half walls between beds to give you some privacy. So I paid for a few hours, bought some novels to read and a bottle of water and some snacks and crashed on the bed. As I lay there I pretty much remember feeling that my childhood had ended and that I had to figure out what else I had to do.
The other time that I felt so much like an adult was when I was living in Calicut and working for a company there. I was renting a small room with bathroom attached (Indian style bathroom mind you; no commode) for Rs.800 a month. I ate the cheapest meals possible as money was tight and I had most of the day from 3pm to myself. Except for the weekends because I would come home to Cochin every weekend. When I stopped going every weekend and made it every other weekend, I spent a lot of time exploring the city. I was on my own, well I had a colleague in a room near me and we mostly traveled together to and fro the office but I was mostly by myself. That felt lonely, strange and yet so liberating as well. I was an adult, full fledged. I sometimes wish that the job and the company there had taken off as I’m curious as to how my life would have shaped out if I had continued living there. That would have been something to have known.