I got a call from one of my long distance friends yesterday. She was my most trusted friend during engineering days in Hyderabad. We started our friendship by conversing in English. I couldn't speak her mother tongue and she couldn't speak mine. Whenever I couldn't finish my assignment, she used to help me by giving her own assignment for coping at the last minute. She was my translator during lectures when professors said something in the local language that I couldn't understand. During exams, I sat on a bench in front of her. I was roll no. 54. She was roll no. 55. She was my bench-mate for 4 years as well and every time, we scored almost the same in viva-voice. In our final year farewell given by management of our college, we plucked up our courage, practiced and danced for the first time on Dhink Chika, Dhinka Chaika on stage in front of everybody. Just the two of us because our third dance partner had backed out due to fever. It was another matter that we forgot many steps in between. Once we had done initial bit of anchoring in one of the cultural events and invited chief guests on to the dais in front of whole college.
There are so many cheerful moments that I have spent in my college. Thanks to her. So a call from her made me very happy and nostalgic.
As time passed and we talked for nearly 40 minutes, I realized she is not satisfied with the way things have turned out in her life in a new place.
Currently, she is working in an IT company. She left Hyderabad, her hometown, and was sent to Mangalore for training. It was just last month that she got posted to Chennai. A city that she isn’t familiar with. Leaving home wasn’t easy for her. She had never gone outside Andhra Pradesh till last year. But this year, she has visited two different cities. Her major problem starts with feeling lonely. She has only 2 or 3 friends back from our college working in the same company. She doesn’t know what to do on weekends and gets bored. Being in a new city, she has not visited any places and is yet to come to terms with food. She lives in a PG accommodation. She misses home food and doesn’t like eating sambhar in breakfast and then again one more sambhar in lunch. When she feels hungry, she misses her mother even more.
I have gone through similar situations. Dealing with life and workplace in a new city with limited number of friends isn’t easy. It takes time to settle in a new place. But most importantly, it depends upon an individual, how he/she handles it.
When I was in Mysore, away from home, I made a couple of close friends. Being an introvert, it wasn’t easy for me. But I made some good friends nonetheless. Most of the time I was in GEC and so never got time to get bored. Weekends were spent in watching same movies twice in multiplex and trying out new items in food courts. Since I got posted to Chandigarh, I remain with my close-knitted friends and follow these following rules mandatorily on weekends:-
1. Read Novels.
2. Watch new movies in theatres.
3. Watch old movies on television.
4. Visit new places that have book shops.
5. Try out something new in kitchen.
6. Wash utensils and clothes.
Above last two things take a lot of time and so being bored on weekends is out of question. On a different note, when my novels are there with me 24/7, I don’t need even Mr. Bean to come in front of me for entertainment. Novels are my best company. When these are there with me, I don’t need anything else. On weekdays, time flows by quickly enough. It centers on projects, blogs and colleagues. Time passes quickly every day.
Based on my own incidences, I advised my friend to quit feeling lonely and depressed. No solution ever comes out of quitting or giving up. I told her to follow her passions. Do things that you like to do most and you won’t feel lonely. She is a reader herself. She has a keen interest in photography. She is also an avid music listener.
Hanging out with friends is another option. It doesn’t matter whether you have one best friend or 50 good friends. As long as you have few human beings around you who make you smile, go outside with them and visit new places. When you have time, try to explore more about the city you are residing in. Maybe you will never get a second chance to visit the city ever again in future.
Having an aim in life and working towards it can do wonders. For example, she wants to start preparing for her higher studies. When would be the right time, if not now?
Talking to parents or friends whenever you feel low is another idea to come out of your sad mood. Instead of keeping your feelings bottled up, let it all out and share with somebody. The benefits of this talking therapy I found out yesterday. You will cheer up for sure. :)
So next time you feel lonely, don’t keep quiet and sulk. First check if your mobile has sufficient balance in it. Then talk to someone who would have given you company had you both been together. Yell your problems if you have to. And who knows? You might get some solutions on dealing with life in a new place. :)