bombay diaries: part 1.

Jun 10, 2014

I came to India looking for something that was missing, looking for a way to connect to the culture that was always a part of me but so far away from me. There was never a doubt in my mind that being Indian was who I was, but in some sense, I couldn’t tell if it was through obligation or deep-rooted values or genuinely who I was. Making the decision to move to Bombay for six months was a way to see how played a role in my life and how strong that role was. I came here looking for something and I got so much more. No matter how explicitly I state this, it won’t live up to my real emotions but here it is: I have had the best six months of my life. Through friendships and exploring the city and connecting to the culture in ways I couldn’t even imagine; through finding pieces of myself in the struggles and the uplifting moments; through understanding India better, with each new day, with each new memory; through all these experiences, I have gained more than I have in a lifetime. I couldn’t be more grateful for those who made it possible and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the first half of 2014. Not only has this impacted my year, but it has influenced who I am and the way I live. And most importantly, no matter where I am in the world, India will be a part of who I always was, always am, and the person I will continue to be for a long time.

Now that the difficult part of this post is over, I can launch into all the beautiful moments which made this past semester what it was for me. I owe so much of it to my friends, friends who I was not expecting to have but who have become such a large part of my life. There have been countless school days, lunches, dinners, parties, Bollywood movie sessions, ubiquitous Starbucks trips, and explorations of this city – all of which have enhanced my time here by indescribable amounts. A large part of why I love Bombay is that I love the people, something which I wasn’t looking for from the start. But it is a factor of my time here that I will always cherish and this post celebrates that.
There have been hundreds of Instagram-worthy pictures that perfectly encapsulate my time here. If you have been keeping up with my Bombay adventures on Instagram, many of you have already seen them in a more timely manner, as I've been chronicling all these events constantly. For a better look, head over to my Instagram account here! From the parties to the amazing girls trip to Aamby Valley to the wonderful Festival of Nations day at school, there have been so many events here that have defined each month in the best way. 
 "Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it." –  L.M. Montgomery

Prom was, if nothing else, incredibly memorable for me and something I truly enjoyed. All the typical prom pictures are included above – it was a great night for photographs. Both the dresses I donned, for prom and after-prom, were from ASOS, the ever-reliable brand I turn to when looking for outfits for any occasion. For the actual prom dress, I opted for a vivacious red ensemble, with a body-con silhouette and subtle sweetheart neckline. When it came to the after-prom dress, body-con was again the way to go, but this time with a textured fabric and a beautiful indigo hue. 
A few weeks ago, my friends threw me a surprise leaving party – something I was not expecting at all. It was possibly one of my best nights here in Bombay, with so many little memories I will never forget. Every single detail – a plethora of maxi dresses worn by all the girls, music that has been constantly played throughout these past five months, and hundreds of photographs to capture it all – resulted in an incredible night, hard for me to describe. 
This post has honestly been written in vain and I hope it can do my time in Bombay even the slightest bit of justice. It is hard to encompass all these memories – and portray the significance of it all in my life. Leaving India, all these memories, this home I have built for myself – it will be the most difficult thing I have to do. There is some beauty to be found in the temporary nature of the situation; leaving was inevitable. Though I wouldn’t describe it as fleeting, the months went by more quickly than I could have imagined. I realize now that this was a difficult decision from the beginning but there is nothing to be lost. I have gained more than I can adequately express. There are memories, there is a basis for a future, there is so much holding me to this country. I am leaving now but there is a part of me which will always be here, compelling me to return to the home I will always have. Thank you to everyone who made this time so special to me.

-M

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