Sometimes it’s the music that keeps us going. It’s been happening to me a lot nowadays. Oftentimes I just sit in the chair and stare at the wall. It happens when I don’t feel like doing anything. Music keeps me going in those moments. I randomly play something from my playlists and it instantly replaces the boredom with nice thoughts. Recently I have been listening to bollywood music. I have curated a playlist on Spotify called No Bullshit Bollywood and it literally is what it says. I started by talking about music because I stared at the computer screen for a few minutes before I started writing and then I got reminded of this music trick. I shuffled the playlist and Tu Hi Re from the movie Bombay was the first song to play.
I have to submit my MSc project report by tomorrow. The actual deadline is July 31 but my advisor wants me to submit it by 15th. The work is not finished yet. Infact, it’s not even close to completion but I can still present what we have done so far. Once the academic formalities are over, we will continue with the research and will hopefully write a paper by this December. I haven’t slept properly in the past 48 hours and I am not going to get good sleep until the report submission.
I have not stayed at home for this long in the past 6 years. I was at home at most for about 25 days and that was in the summer of 2018. Unfortunately my grandmother died in that summer but luckily I had already decided to stay at home for that long and I could be with her in her last moments. This time I came home on March 21, thanks to the pandemic. I am enjoying my stay at home ever since I have come here. This is a point worth mentioning because normally people, me included, feel bored at home.
I also used to feel that way when I was in college. I hated coming here because life in Delhi was more shiny. Things changed when I moved to Mumbai. Obviously Mumbai is farther so I got to come home less often – twice a year, almost 14/365 days – but I also felt some psychological changes. With time, I am getting closer to my parents. I don’t think Mumbai played any role in that.
Here’s what I think actually happened. I was 21 when I got out of college. Had a fairly childish thinking. With time, the way I see things changed and my views slowly transformed from being very idealistic to slightly practical. I started empathising with my parents and our thoughts started aligning.
On the other side, my parents also transformed. It happens with all the parents, I guess. People become mellow with age. They put more and more trust in their children with time. Also, after a certain age their children start earning and that takes a lot of pressure off their chest. The parents can then relax and act less like parents and more like friends.
In my case, my parents felt relieved because I had gotten into TIFR as an Integrated MSc-PhD student, where I would get scholarship for the next 6 years. This was a huge relief for my father who had been under high financial pressure during my college days. This meant that my father could now slow down and relax.
I eventually decided to leave the I-PhD program of TIFR with a Master’s degree and that meant the scholarship would also end with the degree. I am about to graduate from TIFR and this is the last month for which I’ll get my stipend.
The stipend is going to end but this does not mean that the old stressful days are going to come back. Things have changed in the past 3 years. My father didn’t have to pay for my expenses in these years which let him clear the financial burden of loans. After this month my father would be paying for my expenses but it would be just that and not the extra living expenses like rent that I had in Delhi.
All in all, the stipend I received during these years, combined with the fact that my parents are ageing, brought my family closer and relieved a lot of financial stress. The fact that I was able to secure funding for my studies gives me confidence, satisfaction and takes off the guilt of not earning after this July. With a burden and guilt free mind I can enjoy my stay at home until I get a job.