I was talking to a friend about how chaotic my March has been so far. Every major project in my personal and professional life had its biggest moments all around the same time. And I was whining, of course, about how it was exactly the same last year as well. Within that conversation, I realised that over the last decade, every March was exactly the same – I’d live through moments that changed everything.
And so, I thought that a tribute was long overdue! Here’s to March- it’s endings, and new beginnings. Here’s to having survived through a global pandemic for a full year. And here’s to all of the adventures we’re going to have starting right now!
Tanga, Tanzania | 2011
I took an impromptu trip with a colleague to this small, quaint fishing village. It was there I was able to decide what I wanted my next steps to look like after a year of living in Tanzania. I didn’t know it then, but I know now how significant this sunset was to my life.
Palamaner, India | 2012
I was back in India, and was asked to conduct some life-skills workshops for teenagers from vulnerable backgrounds in Palamaner. This was the culmination of my work in the non-profit sector. Again, I didn’t know it then, but this summer camp was the first step towards my career in communications. I was also weeks away from my first international trip with my brother – we went to Malaysia and Singapore. There was a lot of fighting. But it made our bond even stronger, if that was possible. I’ll never forget it.
Bangalore, India | 2013
At this phase in my life, I was a freelancer working on several digital projects, and working on my portfolio as a writer. At the same time, I was secretly organising my brother’s 21st birthday, and working on the Indian part of my sister’s wedding. This design was a labour of love for her. I remember the sheer relief of holding the printed designs in my hand, knowing that I was able to contribute in my own little way to her story. Little did I know back then that I was just a few months away from meeting Adam, and that my whole life would change. Again.
Bangalore, India | 2014
I was in … something I couldn’t label. It was serious, and complicated, and so I decided to do the sensible thing and not think too much about it. There would be texts, serenading, and silly banter. This was a screenshot of one such call in March. It looks romantic. It wasn’t. I can guarantee you he was singing about beans on toast. Or maybe haldi doodh!
Bangalore, India | 2015
Adam moved to India, and we visited my family often. I remember the exact moment grammie held his hand, said a vulgar joke that rhymed with his name, and then smiled like she was a completely innocent angel. At that stage in our life, everything was up in the air – where would we go? what would we do next? Turns out, we didn’t have to worry. By July, we had moved to Bangkok.
Koh Larn, Thailand | 2016
We had settled into a regular life in Bangkok, after the first few months of feeling totally out of our depth. Our “regular” life included market AND island hopping – we ate SO much good food, and every other weekend, there was a new town or beach to explore. In March, we were in Koh Larn with a friend who’d flown in to see us. That moment felt like some sort of permission for us to settle in and give in to our lives in BKK. It worked.
Penang, Malaysia | 2017
Living in Thailand was stable for me, but not so much for Adam. He had to do a few visa runs, despite having a full time job. This time, the visa rules had changed so much that we had to go to Penang instead. It turned out to be one of the best holidays we’ve been on, despite the stress of not knowing if he’d get a visa extension or not. It was the turning point of our life in Thailand. It helped us start the conversation about what we really wanted in life, and where we would go next.
Cologne, Germany | 2018
In just a year, we had left our lives in Bangkok, moved back to India with my parents as I waited for my German visa, and then MOVED TO KÖLN. Mad! We also landed in the middle of some sort of cold wave, which was a real shock to our systems after our tropical beachbum lifestyle. I loved every minute of it!
Bangalore, India | 2019
I had to move back home, and Adam and I had to be in long distance again. We had been avoiding making a difficult choice precisely for this reason. However, we realised that with two niblings already growing up without us around, we wanted a few years of being around family and friends. And so we decided to move to the UK, and start building our lives. It meant I had to be in India for half a year. Although I dreaded it in the beginning, it turned out to be one of the best moments in my life. Getting to know my family as a grown up, and living with them as friends was such a thrill. I had a hard time leaving for the first ever time in my life.
Millington, UK | 2020
We found a house in Leeds. We were going to move but before that, we went to visit Adam’s family in his hometown. We spent some quality time with family and friends. There was even a bottomless brunch involved with SO many bloody mary’s. We were so excited for this new phase in our lives and for living bang in the middle of the city. Amazing!
This year, I am again at the cusp of something important. I can feel it. We’ve settled into our house, and over the last year, I’ve had time to work on a UK project that was seen in every major publication in the news worldwide. And as that project comes to an end, I am reminded of everything I’ve gained over the last year – included two more nibilings! I cannot wait to see what my ending and beginning will be this time next year!
Here’s to March, you beautiful, beautiful month!