Life in a metro…

Nine months ago, I moved from Bangalore to the city of dreams,Mumbai. Confused but at the same time hopeful about having made the right choice- of stepping out of my comfort zone, taking a whole new path in my career and being successful in the same.

Initial few weeks, I missed Bangalore and the simpler life here a lot. But gradually with time I started getting used to Mumbai and the fact paced life there. The local trains, the chai from the tapri wala and the evening walks by the seaside at carter road became a routine. I’ve gotten so used to them, now that I’m in Bangalore barely for a few days and I miss them already.

I’ve experience living in Delhi as well, but life in Mumbai is very different. You get addicted to living here. While your living area might not be as big, but the city welcomes you with really wide open arms and makes you feel at home in no time.

When I moved in here, I was so sure that by the end of the academic year, I would surely move back to Bangalore as that was my city, my home. But now that the time is nearing I am as confused as I was while leaving from Bangalore. There’s something about this city which does not let you go, won’t let you move on…

While I’m confident and glad about my new career choice made, I really don’t know if I will be able to accept Bangalore completely as my city again.

And now I understand the feelings and sentiments of my friends who during graduation had moved to Bangalore from Mumbai. Now I understand, why Mumbai really is their and now meri jaan as well! 🙂

Just Bandra things…

Every city has that one place or area we consider as above all… Like I’ve had friends who thought of Koramangla as the centre of Bangalore city. For them everything else was based on Koramangla as the central reference point. And of course, the air around people living in either Koramangla and Indiranagar is so high and mighty, even if they lived in an area smaller than the local Kirana store!

Anyways, coming back to Bombay, its just the city that has changed… Not that attitude… And the difference is, here I’m one of the people I was just complaining about in the start of this article. 🙂

Although its been just a few months since I’ve moved to Bombay and Bandra to be specific, I already feel like a typical Bandra-ite (minus the money and the fancy cars and houses!). I can’t think of living in any other area coz I feel its too overcrowded for me. Infact, even the roads of Bandra somehow seem more motorable than the rest of Bombay. 😀

What I like the best about Bandra, atleast from my experience here is that any and everything is just around the corner. Wanna enjoy the sunset, there’s Carter Road and Band Stand… Confused about what to eat, you’ll find a restaurant at ever second step you take. Infact there’s a whole line of them at Carter Road. So that’s like enjoying the sunset and dinner so you don’t have to rush back home to cook. 🙂 Travelling tomorrow but you forgot to carry something for that annoying little sister who won’t let you enter the house without a gift? Well thank god Linking Road and Hill Road shopping markets open until atleast 10 in the night!

You even experience small rounds of mini treks in Bandra. The whole of Pali is so hilly that a walk around the area is almost like going on a trek!

The sea link also starts from Bandra(depending on which side of it you’re on).

And yes, Bandra also has the highest number of crows I guess..! 😦 The only one thing I do not like about the place.

While Bandra is an expensive or rather extremely expensive place to be living, I still would rather stay here than any other area. Keeping all other reasons mentioned above aside, just for the fact that I feel its a very safe place where I can walk even at 12 in the night the same way if it was 4 in the evening!

The PRAXIS Experience…

Finally the most talked about event of our PGPR program, PRAXIS was here. All excited, the eight of us along with the Deputy Dean of SCoRE set from Mumbai on the morning of 23rd September to Aamby Valley in two vehicles. Initially rain did play a spoil sport but as we went ahead the rains stopped and we got to enjoy the journey and the picturesque landscape along.

I have no clue as to how but I seemed to be extremely charged up for the trip in spite of having had hardly 2-3 hrs of sleep the previous night. I apparently was so active through the journey that at our pit stop for breakfast I was asked not to have coffee just in case I got more charged up! 🙂

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On our way

Anyways, after a not-so-happy breakfast and a couple of twists and turns en route, we reached Aamby Valley. Such a beautiful place I must say. The weather was also equally amazing. The god was so thick that we couldn’t see anything beyond 100 mts.

By now, we were already late by 15-20mins from the scheduled arrival. After a quick check-in at the reception, we were given a brief of what the next two days would look like in action. We changed into our volunteer tees and got straight to work. The guests had already started arriving at the venue by now. While the six of us worked at the registration desk, two others were assisting Mr. Kiruba Shankar, the MC for the event backstage.

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Meet us at the registration! 🙂

The first half of the day was quite hectic with the registrations. However, no matter how busy we are, there’s always time for selfies and tweets. 🙂

During the second half when registrations got a little relaxed, we in pairs of two or three would take turns to go in and sit through the sessions. Couple of the sessions were quite engaging, informative and interesting.

Finally the session came to an end with a live performance by The Indian Jam Project and of course dinner and cocktails. 😉

It was a fun filled night with lots of food, drinks and music. A much needed happy break from the regular hectic schedule of college and assignments and presentations. The night ended on a happy and very late note back in our room where we continued with our girl talks and discussed the day’s events.

 

The second day also began on the same note where we started with registrations which by now had gotten quite relaxed. So we had more time to attend the sessions.

Before we left from Mumbai, we were given two assignments (oh yeah! They never let us be) which we had to work on during PRAXIS. So post a rushed lunch and a stern reminder and warning from our Deputy Dean, we started networking with the guests and delegates. Initially what felt like a rather strict punishment, later started getting interesting. Talking and interacting with the PR and Corp Comm professionals was good. Few a little unfriendly but couple of them were quite friendly and interactive. We took quotes from them, collected their business cards and also informed them we’d get in touch with them post PRAXIS.

By now it was time for the vote of thanks to conclude PRAXIS. We, as team SCoRE, were introduced to the world of PR and Corp Comm. Oh yeah, a couple of us also won scholarships on scoring well in the entrance exam. 🙂

Finally, it was time for the much awaited evening of Fulcrum Awards. PRAXIS concluded with a very powerful and inspiring talk by Dr. A. Velumani, Chairman and MD, Thyrocare and soon after the Fulcrum Awards began.

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Selfie with Mr. Velumani

Fulcrum Awards saw a lot of teams and firms getting recognition and appreciation for being the best. The proudest moment for us was when one of our professor, Mr. Ambuj Dixit won the category for “Best Internal Communication and Employee Engagement”. That feeling when one of your own wins something is completely different.

The second and final day concluded with the power packed performance by Voctronica and of course the “Dinner and Cocktails”! 😉

After a night full of fun, food, some more drinks and a lot of dancing we managed to get back to our rooms and the after party was continued there. It was more fun on this night because all the eight of us had gotten together. While one of us might have passed out, the rest of us continued with our chats and gossips. No idea when the rest dispersed and we also passed out on our beds.

Next morning, after a quick breakfast and an even quicker checkout, we set back to Mumbai on our cabs, back to the routine, with a couple of stops in Lonavala and many more selfies of course! 🙂

All in all, PRAXIS was a great experience. Great learning from some very good speakers, good networking and loads of fun.

Here’s to having many more of fun learnings and networking events like PRAXIS!

One of many Firsts…

We were left with one last firm to visit to conclude with our PR firm visits. And by now we had given up all hopes of anything worthwhile happening in this round of visit. Anyways, we still had to go visit them. We were quite tired from all the waiting and the walking we’d been doing for the last couple of hours. And the next firm, GOLINOPINION was quite a distance away. So we decided to take the cab and reach the place.

And guess what. The office is located in one part of the Palladium mall. We were glad we picked that firm to be our last firm so even if we came out disappointed, we still could go chill at the mall.

By far, the wait at GOLINOPINION office seemed to be the longest.After a really long wait of almost 45 mins, the assistant of our point of contact came out to meet us. And we were greeted with a “We expect you to at least check and take an appointment before you come!”. We explained to her how we were instructed not to take appointments and how Ms.Kavita Lakhani (VP of GOLINOPINION ) was already informed about us visiting them. Either she was comparatively friendlier or she was also too busy hence did not really have the time for us, so she continued the conversation towards the purpose of our visit. We spoke about us, our institute SCoRE, the PRomise Foundation and the #ABCPrize. We handed out the posters to her requesting her to encourage their employees to apply for the same.

We were so glad that we finally got done with the visits and having learnt almost nothing from any of the firms, we left for the mall. While waiting for the lift, we were busy doing what we do best – “Click Selfies”. 🙂

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We were on a selfie spree when suddenly from the back we hear someone ask us “Are you guys from SCoRE?”. For a second we froze wondering if we were doing something illegal (though logically we couldn’t have!). And then it turned out, she was the President of Linopinion, Ms. Kavita Lakhani whom we were supposed to have met. She was rushing out but asked us to come along with her in the elevator and speak to her. So the next min we were in the elevator with her, talking about our institution, the organization and the prize. She was super friendly and seemed more excited about meeting us than we were.

So there we had one of the biggest Firsts of the day – “the experience of having an elevator pitch”. We ended our talks with the mandatory Selfie again.

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#LessonLearnt: Time spent taking selfies is never time wasted! 🙂

Finally…Finally we got done with the official exercise. Although I wouldn’t really call it an experience with a lot of learnings, I’m glad we did it. Yes, we had a crazy lot of waiting to do, a couple of unfriendly cold calls but at the end it was all worth it.

Oh and for those of you wondering what the #ABCPrize is all about – PRomise Foundation who are the organisers of #PRAXIS5 summit for the PR and communication professionals are sponsoring a prize which is the #ABCPrize for professionals under 35 years of age under two categories – for Corporate Professionals and In-House Professionals (PR Firms). There’s a cash prize of Rs. 20,000/- and an all-expense paid participation at #PRAXIS5.

#PRAXIS5 is being organised in Aamby Valley from Sep 23-25th 2016. So all you young professionals under the age of 35, make sure you use this opportunity and register yourselves at bit.ly/TheABCPrize. Last date to apply is 2nd September 2016.

One of many Firsts…

After the first experience of our first visit to the first PR firm on our list, we moved on to our next firm with the hope of having a better experience. We walked up to India Bulls Financial Center and got ourselves a visitor’s pass for Genesis Burson-Marstellar.

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We were instructed not to take any prior appointments(the reason why,we got to know later) and so we happily walked in to the office and asked for our point of contact. To our wonderful surprise, we found out that our point of contact was on leave!

Well again after waiting for quite some time, we ended up meeting her assistant, briefed her about our organization and the #ABCPrize. We handed the posters to her and requested her to encourage their employees to apply for the same.

#LeasonLearnt: Always take appointments first. Or at least check if the person is available at work no matter what your instructions are.

With even lesser hopes, we started walking towards the One India Bulls Centre to visit Edelman. We reached the office and for a change here they were at least aware of our visit. We were sent to a fancy meeting room and asked to wait.

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Our first point of contact was busy in a meeting and so someone from the HR team came down to meet us. She seemed to be in a hurry and so it was a real quick meet. We spoke about our purpose of the visit, handed over the posters asking her to pin them up on the notice boards so their employees would read them and probably even apply. She was more than happy to see us off.

We were quite disappointed because we were told we’d be shown around the office and probably even have some interaction with their team. But unfortunately due to her busy scheduled none of it worked out for us.

#LessonLearnt: Never build up hopes. At least not the first time.

Well, so that’s three out of four done. Will we finally get some action and excitement ahead in the next? Read my next blog to find out! 🙂

New Girl in the city

A new place. A new home. A whole new set of people. A very (mostly) different culture. Life is never easy and definitely not the same in a new city. Nobody likes changes, small or big. And surely not me. Though this hasn’t been the first time I’m moving to a new city, my relocation to Mumbai somehow felt like a real big deal.

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The start …

Visiting Mumbai for a vacation was something I’ve always loved thanks to the amazing street food and the wonderful shopping experiences. But somehow the idea of living in Mumbai all by myself scared the life out of me.

Moving to Mumbai has been one of my most impulsive life decisions I’ve taken so far. It probably tops all of them, including the time I got my tattoo without thinking (which again was in Mumbai).

It’s been difficult leaving my family behind. Staying away from my little niece, who won’t be so little when I go back home the next time considering how quick kids grow up. My worst fear is what if she forgets me or how much she loves me. Thankfully technology came in handy here. So although I’ll miss being around her, I won’t really miss out on being with her. On the brighter side, I get to be the cool aunt who gets her lots of fancy stuff from ‘Bombay’ as she likes to call it, earning myself some brownie points.

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Salute LaFamilia

It’s never really easy living alone especially when you are used to having people around do all the work for you while you just laze around watching TV or in my case SLEEP ALL THE TIME. Life has taken such a cruel turn for me. Not only do I have to do all my work myself, I’d consider myself super lucky if I manage to get a good 6 hour sleep in the night. Like the saying- Mumbai city never sleeps, my life also has become sleepless!

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The Class

It’s been exactly a month today since I’ve moved from Bangalore to Mumbai. A month full of changes. New friends. A room mate who has been more like family than just another girl sharing the room with me. New profession. Deadly deadlines and piles of assignments which make the 24hours in a day also seem too less to finish them.

 

 

But life’s been good. Let’s see what Life or rather Mumbai has in store for me!

Excited and scared.