“I met my husband when I was 20. We fell in love, and by the time I turned 23, I was married. We were the ‘it couple.’ We had a good 20 years together, but things started to change and we grew apart–that happens sometimes.
At the age of 47, we got a divorce and went our separate ways. Both my kids were abroad, so I started my life anew. I was lost… I didn’t know where to begin, I had never signed a cheque in my life, let alone live by myself. But I was eager to figure it all out by myself.
Things started falling into place organically– my friend called me about an opening for a French teacher at her school and just like that, after a brief interview I had a job! Every day I’d travel from Bombay Central to Chembur by bus to go to school. Then I’d take tuitions, go to the gym and sleep late. I had a fire within me to live, I didn’t know how to put it out — I didn’t want to try.
I had a new dream…I wanted to own my own house. I had my eye set on this beautiful apartment with a great view. The view of the skyline, showing me the sunrise each morning was everything I wanted. With my savings, alimony, and a loan from my sister, I saved up for the apartment. And that’s how I got my own home!
Even though there was no furniture, it was in shambles, and I had to rebuild, I was ready to do the work. I got second-hand furniture, and bought a mattress to sleep on the floor. Bit by bit, I bought things for the house and soon, it became a home.
Around 4 years later, one of my close friends told me that she didn’t like to see me live alone. So she signed me up on a homestay service. I didn’t even know how to use a computer, let alone use this platform. But I was ready to try new things– so I thought ‘why not?’
I began hosting people from all over the world! I’d go collect them from the airport, cook for them, make sure they’re well taken care of! And I guess my home was magic, because each and every person who left, left happy. A man we hosted is even inviting us for his wedding in Delhi! It’s amazing how life can keep surprising you. Through this, I also became financially independent.
The happiest moment by far was when I saved enough money to book a vacation for me and my daughter to South America! I felt free, emotionally, financially, mentally.
Since then, I plan one trip with her every year…it’s like the world has opened all doors for me. But let me tell you a secret- no view in the world is better than the one from my window — it reminds me of what I built on my own. And then I know, that life always gives you second chances and miracles happen when you least expect them.”
Reproduced from Humans of Bombay