Quite often, I've met with fiasco when trying out something new. For instance, the first day of my job back in Noida, I took a chartered bus that a friend of mine had told me about. It found itself stuck in a bad traffic jam and took a diversion which turned out to be even worse. It took us through rickety bridges that I never before (or after) saw in my life.
Then there was the first time I drove myself to work. I didn't tell too many people about this, but that morning, I missed a turn and had to take a U-turn and go about three extra kilometres in the process. That was quite okay, but the second time I drove on that particular road, a cab driver driving a Maruti Omni hit my front bumper from the left side. I chose not to stop and argue with him, because I knew that no good would come out of it anyway.
After that, I would drive to work every now and then, but not on a regular basis. Later, when I began to drive every other day, we got stuck in a horrible chakka jam the first morning I drove my car, and we were there till a little past noon. Okay, that was not really my fault. I had warned the other members of my carpool and suggested that we start out a little earlier that morning, but they didn't believe me.
I drove to work regularly for a long time after that, carpooling with different people. An old friend of mine, whom I'd known for about eight and a half years then, joined us at the beginning of this year. Her arrival was greeted by one or the other of my car tyres getting punctured on three days in one single week.
When my husband and I were boarding our flight to the United States, the X-Ray scanners at the Indira Gandhi airport broke down and they checked everyone's luggage manually, delaying the flight by an hour, making us miss our connecting flight from Newark to Boston.
I've come to take such things in my stride, and I no longer think of them as setbacks. I think of them as a signal that something really good is about to happen. That things are about to look up. And, quite often, they do. I had some wonderful times in my three years at my job. I learnt to drive myself to and from work with the greatest ease, so much so that I did it on an impulse the week after I left, just to see my friends. I like being here with my husband. It's the loveliest place I've ever lived in.