Meet the Researchers – Neha Mehta

Moving to take up a position as an Early Stage Researcher inevitably involves big changes in how you lead your life. Read how one of our ESRs, Neha Mehta found this has been (ultimately) a happy experience!

Neha Mehta Web

Celebrating Diwali with Crackers of Laughter !!!

Coming out of India for studies to a place so far was something that was unimaginable for me and my family even after I arrived in Torino. Although I have had lived in different parts of India but still I had never celebrated Diwali out of my home. I used to go to my parents on Diwali irrespective of anything. And they also knew that I would be with them cleaning home, making sweets at home, sharing household work with my mother, lighting Diyas, going to temples and squares near to my home to light Lamp there and planning all nitti gritties of the celebration.

But this time it was different, they had bid me good bye just before ten days of Diwali knowing that I am not going to celebrate with them. And here I was in a city which has everything to offer- parks, piazzas and bars still there was something that my eyes kept on searching. There was something that told that I was out of India. I was somehow not at peace with myself. I was settling in my work life partly because being a Researcher was a dream that I had from a long time and also because I had colleagues who were easy to get along with. But life outside my lab was becoming tough with every passing day. I started missing my home more and more as the days passed. I dreaded being lonely on evening of Diwali, being engulfed in the darkness of my own sadness.

And then finally the day when Lord Rama returned to Ayodhya in the History arrived. Everyone was wishing me Happy Diwali on WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook and through variety of Forums while I was working in my Lab on a presentation with my tutor. So the day passed without much difficulty, discussing with my guide. In the evening after my work when I went to kitchen of the University Residence to prepare Coffee I met another student. I almost burst out with tears in my eyes telling her that today is Diwali and I am here. To my surprise she knew about Diwali as she was an exchange student from UK and knew many Indians there. While having conversation we decided to call other students also and to have dinner together.

When we were preparing dinner together I came to know that everyone belonged to different country and culture. Yet all of us were gaily, sharing recipes of food, talking about Shahrukh khan, Katrina Kaif ( yes they knew about Bollywood also ) one girl from Morocco was a big fan of Shahrukh Khan and told me that she watches every movie of Shahrukh Khan and has watched DDLJ for incalculable number of times. We were chatting about reason behind Diwali celebration, Manipal University, about life in Europe and Asia in general, conversing about history of Italy, contributing our own thoughts on different religions. Soon Diwali was full of Crackers of Laughter, lights of smile on our faces and radiating eyes and good food on our plates. Barriers between Jain, Muslims and Christians were meaningless and there was unity in diversity. All of us were together like different spices in food making it delicious with every next bite.

That moment I started loving Torino with all of my heart for giving me an opportunity to meet such nice people and stopped my search. I started being happy after lab also and meeting new people. Every day after that was livable. And so my own Vanvas ended with Diwali.