he fear of unknown is the biggest fear we all are born with. We always prefer to be within our comfort zones. Known people, surroundings, language and so on...
Until a decade before, I was no different. In spite of several relocations due to my father’s job demands, fear of surrounding, language, etc. never really struck me. Because I was always surrounded with the people I knew – my parents.
But, that particular trip was unusual. I had to go to Chennai as a part of my professional aspirations. And, I had to make my first overnight journey in a train all alone. I was freaking within. What if I don’t wake up on time? What if someone steals my belongings? What if people sense my fear and take advantage of it? And so on…
When I reached Chennai, I was scared again. My cousin who was supposed to pick me up was not picking my call. Then, it began again. What if he doesn’t come? What if he has met with some misfortune and so on… Then, when he came and explained that he was working all through the night and has to go back to office. I thanked the stars that he could take the time off. And I started feeling better again. The fear of unknown vanished because I was with my cousin.
“Satya, can I leave you at the bus depot? You will get all the buses from there. Your institute is in one end and my office in another. It is all because of the contingency. Else, I would have really come!” he said.
I wore my brave-heart’s cloak valiantly and said, “Its ok. I will manage”. Then, the flurry of thoughts followed. What if I get into the wrong bus? What if i get stranded? What if I get robbed? Worst, raped?! And so on…
My cousin left me in the bus depot. I thanked heavens because can read, write and talk Tamil fluently. At least, I was not linguistically challenged! I quashed my fears. I told myself that strangers are not robbers or killers. I convinced myself that I should fight my fears now or never. Being all alone and independent is a lifelong ritual. I cannot expect someone to be with me all the time. It is impossible.
I prayed and thought about my parents. A strange bravery crept through me. It could be because there is no other way out but be brave. I read the bus routes, found the right one. I waited for the conductor to reach me to buy tickets. He didn’t. I observed that unlike other cities, in Chennai, the conductor waits in one end and passengers pass money and buy tickets. I read the hoardings and kept me track of where I am heading.
When I realized that I have reached “Aaykar Bhawan” I felt awesome. I climbed down and walked briskly towards the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. I walked as if I have been walking through those lanes every day. I looked around and I didn’t feel afraid anymore. People around me seemed to be busy in their own lives, works and thoughts. So was I! It implied to me that nobody is different from me. All of us carry those fears within. Yet, believe in goodness and move on in life.
That evening, I went to Railway station all by myself. I told my cousin that I can go there myself. That night, I slept peacefully in the train. I was not scared of robbery anymore. When my destination reached, I got down from the train. That journey transformed me.
“Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent
That small incident laid an important foundation to what I am today!
Written as a part of IndiBlogger Happy Hours – Rise Above Fear!