Kunal Mhatre's Blog

I think I will fly again

June 13, 2020

8th of June 2019, when I took the first flight of my life and went to Bengaluru to join Sweeten. My initial days in Bengaluru were exciting because it was my first time away from my family. I always wanted to try this, living alone. I was living with 2 other flatmates, so I wasn’t living alone technically but was alone in a different state altogether.

Initial days

After I moved in, it was all fun. It was fun to go to my new office and work. It was fun to go out with my cool colleagues to parties and treats, I got to visit too many pubs in Bengaluru due to them. And, I must say, Bengaluru is way too fun when it comes to pubs. I didn’t drink crafted beer though, my bad. I “might” try some the next time I visit Bengaluru. Wait, I don’t think I will do that.

Green City

Cubbon Park

Bengaluru is such a beautiful city! I wish I was born here. The weather is awesome, so is the greenery around. I didn’t explore much except some parks, yeah I know I am such a boring person. Cubbon Park (above photo) was my favorite, sometimes I used to go there to read a book. Lying on the grass and looking at the sky was one heck of an experience. I wish my home town was that green.

Realization of living alone

Everything was fun and games initially, until one day when I fell sick. It was that moment when I realized how alone I was in a different state. Not just by mere thought, but on a whole different level. The only person I could rely on taking care of myself was me. It was very sad because all these days I had my parents look after me in situations like this. But now, it’s either me or no one. This experience showed me how dependent I was on my parents, which is not good in my opinion if you want to become independent.

After that incident, I made a plan to go back home. I just told myself that right after I finish a year here, I will just pack my bags and go back home, to that comfort zone or a bubble I’d say. I was truly not geared to live alone. On the other side, some of my colleagues were also living away from their families, but they appeared to me as strong and independent individuals. They were having fun, they didn’t complain about living away from their family and I liked that. I wish I was strong like them.

The feeling of a different universe

I think when we live in our home town, we do not realize that everything around us is helping us maintain that comfort zone. The weather, food, people, culture, and whatnot. The moment you migrate to different states or countries all by alone, you have to start from scratch, mostly. You need to adjust to new weather, new food, new people, new culture, and new whatnot. We have to create that comfort zone again, but this time from scratch, all by ourselves. I realized this and I was quite fascinated by this experience. It is like complete independence of choosing how you want to build that comfort zone again. I failed miserably to build it the right way, but I learned a lot from my failures. Now that I have a good experience, maybe next time I can build it the right way.

Home

I wish I was living alone in my entire apartment. In Bengaluru, I occupied one private room in a 3 BHK apartment, and other rooms were occupied by my flatmates. My private room was not that great. As my friend pointed out, it may be because I had plans to go back home, I took no interest in owning and decorating it.

I rather enjoyed going to my office. My office was the place where I got people to spend time with. My colleagues at Sweeten comforted me like anything. Not to mention, all my fun times in Bengaluru were due to them, I cannot express how much I enjoyed spending time in my office and with people over there.

I used to stay late in my office just to avoid my room. It took time for me to realize that… my office was my home in Bengaluru and not the room that I was paying rent for. I was not emotionally attached to my room or the apartment I was living in, but that was not the case with my office and lovely people over there. Love you guys!

Leaving Bengaluru

After Sweeten allowed me to go fully remote, I decided to leave Bengaluru. All this time I wanted to go back home since I was missing my family, friends, mostly that comfort zone waiting for me back home, but… this may sound strange, after I was prepping myself to leave, I have no clue why the heck, but I didn’t feel like leaving.

Living alone in Bengaluru gave me freedom, freedom to make decisions, to live like a free bird, but going back home would take all that away from me. Most importantly, my independence and I think that was the reason why I didn’t feel like leaving the city. All of sudden, I felt that I didn’t explore the city much and I should’ve done that earlier, but now it is too late. You know they say that you realize the value of a certain thing when it is no more with you.

Leaving Bengaluru, a view from my flight's window

What’s the takeaway then?

It is a very sad truth but at some point in my life, I will have to live without my parents. And I think this applies to most of us. Living in Bengaluru gave me the gist of living alone without my parents and I am happy that I did this, but at the same time, I am thankful to everyone who made this experience great.

I feel every young individual out there should give this a try, to live away from parents at least for some time, to experience the freedom. It might be hard initially, but once you realize the essence of being independent you might enjoy it. I am not saying that people who live with their parents are missing out on something, I think everyone has different ways to live their life at fullest. Some like living alone, some love to live with their parents. I enjoy both.

Personal tip: If you are going to try this, try to make a friend or two with whom you can hang out and have fun. It truly helps if you are living alone in a strange city. I am looking at you, Mimi. I hope I get to meet you someday. :)

Finally

Bengaluru had given me too much, from crucial life lessons to help me get in a good shape. If Bengaluru was a girl, I would ask her out for a coffee, or for a filter coffee (people in Bengaluru will get that intended pun). I just love Bengaluru. I find it beautiful than Mumbai and my home town.

But I wonder, would I’ve had the same feeling for Bengaluru if I had not spent time with my wonderful colleagues at Sweeten? The independence that I got to explore? My first time living alone? Freedom? I don’t know. At this point, I feel exactly like Aisha from the Wake Up Sid movie. The way she expresses love for Mumbai in her final article for the magazine. It’s not about actually living there, but about good experiences while living there which makes you fall in love with the city.

Now, I am back home with amazing life experiences. I would rather say, I am back into my comfortable cage, but… I think I will fly again, this time quite far away though.

Thank you for reading this long blog post, I hope you have a wonderful day!


Hi, I am Kunal Mhatre. I write about random stuff, I explore life, and sometimes I look for stars in the skies. For anything, you can drop me an email at hello [at] kunalmhatre.com.