Here’s a glimpse of my journey at Aditya Park 1, flat 53, as I bid it adieu after 12 long years.
My journey began all the way back in May 2008, when I had travelled to Mumbai with my father to secure my admission at St. Xaviers College (XIC). We were accompanied by my uncle, Late Shri Dr. Prakash Badlani. He was truly a one-of-a-kind individual. The universe doesn’t make people like that anymore. I was a pretty nervous kid back then, and my mind was filled with doubt and worry about surviving in a new city. Like any other student moving for studies or a career, I was nervous about the most obvious issue – finding suitable accommodation. My uncle single-handedly put all my worries to rest by offering me his spare flat to stay in Thane. It seemed like a such a small gesture for him, but for me, that one decision changed my whole life.
I moved here in July after my admission was secured. I still remember the first time I ever walked into this place with all my bags, in Hari Om Nagar Society, Thane East. It was a small but cosy 1 BHK flat, which was very comfortable for a self-starter such as myself. I was fortunate enough to also have a caretaker – Tambe Uncle, who made my move even more comfortable. Just imagine, I moved into the city of Mumbai with a home and a caretaker, that’s more than anyone even dreams of having in this place! He stayed with me for the initial few years and left for better prospects soon after.I never knew at that moment that this tiny flat was going become my whole world for the next 12 years and literally shape my whole personality. A lot of my friends envied me because I stayed alone and called me “privileged”. But, little did they know that living alone came with its own challenges, especially in the ‘maximum city’. Now that this space is sold, I often find myself reflecting on the wonderful times I’ve had in it. This flat was more like a best-friend and a companion for me. This space has witnessed my laughs, my cries, has been there for me through all my late-night assignments, and has been a comforting space post late-night outings as well. It has witnessed my innumerable job changes, my growth as an artist, a person, consoled me when I was sad/lonely, gave me a space to connect to the spiritual realm and many other things! I have used the space for my morning Buddhism chanting/meetings and Vedic poojas as well. It was my space for eating, sleeping, reflecting, growing, learning and just about everything else. It became a small universe for me, that was my humble abode in this amazing city. I did try to shift out though, about 2 times in the past 12 years. But each time, there was something about this place that called me back to it. It wasn’t just a simple space any more, it was my home.
My life journey from a naive college-goer to the seasoned professional, would not have been possible if it weren’t for my uncle and his incredible gesture of giving me a place, I called home for these 12 years in Mumbai. Words cannot express how grateful and indebted I am to him. He made me feel so comfortable that I even took the liberty of making changes to the flat, in order to make it more “Vaastu-compliant” for me, and not once did he ever make me feel like it wasn’t mine to change. I wish he could see the man I’ve become today, I owe my success in this city to his kindness.
A wise person once said – “It’s the people who make the place.” There are a few other key individuals in my life as well, who helped make this tiny space a home for me all this while. I would like to take a moment to express my gratitude for them too.
Nikita and Ekta, my amazing house-helps, who helped keep my living space clean and habitable for me all these years.
Poonam Aunty, my star-caterer, who always provided me with warm, fresh, and delicious home-cooked Sindhi food. She’s quite the entrepreneur who has now started making her mark online with her own social media page.
Mukesh, my trusted fruit-seller, my laundry guy, and there are countless other individuals (too many to list) who helped make my 12-year long journey smooth and problem-free. I am eternally grateful to you all.
Flat 53 got sold this year in March, and will be soon broken down and merged with no. 52. It makes me so sad to move away, but I am leaving with all these precious memories and friendships, that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. If there is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that change is the only constant in the world. I hope that my new place will lead to me making just as many memories and friendships in the future! But no matter what happens and wherever life takes me, Aditya Park Building No.1 – Flat 53, will always hold a piece of heart within its walls.