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SINGAPORE : AN EXPERIENCE

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“When you believe strongly in what you want, you fuel all the energies for to materialise”. And when something that you have always longed for, actually comes true, you are so enthralled that you accept the life changing decision wholeheartedly, without any doubt in mind.

My husband was offered a transfer to his Singapore branch and we were very happy and excited with the news. Global working environment, better education for my kids, multi-cultural and global exposure helping in stronger personality development, were our primary thoughts that made our decision quick and easy.

Though I was excited about the move, it also involved the herculean task of winding up my fully settled house in just a month’s time. The kids’ final exams were also scheduled in the same month and I had to take care of their studies as well, making it more difficult for me.

We had been staying in Mumbai for the past eleven years and over the years we had slowly accumulated a lot of standard household possessions , which now needed to be defragged in a just a few days. The winding up process kept me very very busy and literally on my toes for a month.

Finally D-Day arrived when we had to bid our final goodbye to our house and people around us. We had a lot of wonderful memories of our many years in Mumbai – our beautiful house, lovely friends, helpful neighbours, Running and theatre friends, divine memories of Ganpati celebrations and other festivals, and our favourite food joints. Both my kids had spent their early childhood days in Mumbai and had their own group of friends.
We left Mumbai with tons of lovely and wonderful memories, a feeling of sadness and a lot of hope and excitement for what life had in store for us in Singapore.

The first month of our stay was pretty comfortable as we were staying in a serviced apartment and our luggage was going to come after one month. So there wasn’t much work for me except exploring around the new country.

Once we moved to our rented house, it was a task to settle down in a new house in a new country which had different level frequency in terms of logistics and operations.
These chores included many things like getting groceries on my own, lifting the heavy bags and travelling in public transport either by bus or local train. The days are very hot here. As Singapore is near to the equator, the sun’s heat is intense. Over all it has a hot and humid climate throughout the year with few rains and showers here and there.
Shifting from a settled and comfortable life in India which was so much sorted in all aspects to a totally new country, new environment and to re-configure everything was a major step out of my comfort zone and tested me.

First few months went by fast, as I was busy setting the house, relaxing, exploring, enjoying and settling in the new place. After that slowly the realisation was creeping in that yess.. I have moved out of my comfort zone….my comfortable house, happy-go-lucky life and my beloved country which started making me emotional and sad.

When you are out of India, you understand the real meaning of ‘I love my India’. The love for my country was over flowing and making me miss India a lot. I loved living in Mumbai. In Mumbai my life was rocking. I had my running friends, building friends, school friends, office friends, Viva friends, my parents, family and relatives . I was missing my weekend -group long runs. I was missing my Viva Voice Academy, where I was able to tap my acting skills and was so satisfied to perform on stage.
Kids were happily settled in the new school and new environment in the first week itself. They were rather enjoying their stay and were very happy…as if out for a long vacation. My Hubby was as usual very busy and occupied in his office work. What about me.. ? What to do..? I found myself in a big vacuum.

I was not able to let go of ..leaving behind everything in Mumbai and got caught in my own emotions. At times I felt suffocated in an alien world. The emotional roller coaster converted me into a zombie….just kept doing the daily chores mechanically.

With months sliding by I was making new friends and accomplices. I was surrounded by a big Indian Community. We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri and Diwali together with lots of enthusiasm. We had a day-long celebration of our Condominium’s Annual day where I participated and performed. I also started cycling.

As a normal progression for my love for running, I registered for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. This was the time when my running came to my rescue and I started enjoying my runs as I used to do in Mumbai. Running is like meditation for me giving the much needed me-time. It always helps me to relax my mind.

After this marathon many of my new Singapore friends came to know about my love for running and fitness. I had inspired and motivated some of them to take up running. My happiness knew no leaps and bounds. Few of them requested me to guide them and coach them for running. This was when I decided to start a Pinkathon Ladies training group in my area. It gave me a platform to do something for the community welfare. My weekly trainings gave me new zest and enthusiasm that yess I am doing something of my own.

The Beautiful Journey of Today can only begin when we learn to let go of yesterday….!!
After the initial few months where I used to feel emotionally drained and miss Mumbai and India, I slowly started to focus on all the good things that this major life move brought for me. I also promised myself that I will focus my energies towards strengthening my skills and interests in running and theatre and continue to explore right platform and avenues for both.

Singapore is a small and beautiful country with many places of tourist interest. Beautiful, magnificent architecture adds life to the city. Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, Merlion, Sentosa, Universal Studios are few of the prominent tourist attractions.

It’s been an year now, and my house, family and children are happily settled and enjoy their new school. The exposure to new activities and various sports, a better studies and good teachers and the general upgraded environment is definitely contributing immensely to their personality development in formative years.

Singapore is one of the cleanest and greener cities in the world with a huge network of walking, running and cycling infrastructure. Our house is next to a major city level green mini-forest and lake known as Bedok Reservoir which gives us access to a clean, green and fresh air. It is like our mini-Aarey forest in Singapore. We go there regularly for our daily runs and the children have also started to cycle and run. It has contributed to inculcating healthier habits for all of us in my family.

In the last year I have also started to focus more on healthy and mindful eating and since we are vegetarian we now focus more on good home-cooked food. Our eating out has reduced due to limited vegetarian choices, and automatically allows me to inculcate healthy eating habit for my children and family.

The wonderful library system in Singapore came across as one major advantage and learning exposure for us. A weekly visit to the library became a standard family weekly routine and gave all of us access to thousands of books. It is now helping me inculcate a strong life-long love for reading in my children

The advanced public transport system is also a major differentiator and advantage. We now regularly use public transport for all our commute and this has helped making the kids more independent. It makes me feel happy to say that now we are a car-free family doing our small bit for saving the environment. When needed, the app-based cab system is always an available option !

I had read somewhere that “ Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and beautiful in the end “. With that analogy, I have now moved over from the hardest part and now living through the ‘messy phase in the middle’, constantly re-in forcing my strong resolve and focus to make this into a beautiful change for a brighter future for myself and my family !

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