Updated: Mar 19, 2021
Get good grades.
Remain a teetotaller.
Get a good job.
Have an offshore stint (either U.S. or the E.U.).
Have kids to keep the parents entertained
In traditional households, our lives are often timelined and pre-recorded. My Bengali household was no different. So, imagine the shock when a Black sheep like me was born into the Bose household. A female-only child. The darling of everyone’s eye. No one realized it at the time. I wasn't aware of it myself. But, the more I learned about the world, the more my eyes opened.
I was ahead of my time and was amongst the top students in a class of children two to three years older than me. I was indifferent. I was only happy because my parents were happy. My parents were ecstatic because society applauded.
Fast-forward to October 2014. I can still remember that five minutes of silence when I told my parents that instead of returning home to India, I'd be heading to Abuja, Nigeria, to follow my heart.
My parents' first reaction was that of complete shock, and they must've wondered whether I'd gone berserk. But, I'd decided to live my life by one motto — "It is pointless trying to know where the way leads. Think only about the first step, and the rest will come."
On January 15th, 2015, I stepped off the plane onto the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport's tarmac, in Abuja. The weather was dusty and humid compared to the U.K.'s cold chills; I'd grown accustomed to. Nothing could mar my determination; rather it gave my adventurous soul something new to experience.
The excitement was written all over my face as I walked through the airport. As the immigration officer stamped my passport, he smiled while saying my name that had a Yoruba tinge to it.
I could feel that this would be my most incredible adventure. I felt a sense of euphoria after being dictated to about who to date for so long. I knew that this was going to be my fairy tale. My castle on the hill. I was happy being the author of my story, commencing in Naijaland aka Nigeria.
Find out what happens with a 27-year old, adventurous Bengali woman follows her heart to Abuja, Nigeria.
Read part two of the story here