Rediscovering Self — By Gitanjali Maria

The last few kilometres where the toughest though these were the very roads on which I had practised for the previous three months. I pulled myself up, my determined mind pushing my tired body towards the finish line. The route had stretched from the necklace road grounds beside the beautiful Hussain Sagar Lake to Gachibowli Stadium on the other side, covering a distance of 21.1 kilometres. I had ran over two flyovers, climbed up and down Jubilee hills, crossed the IT hub at Madhapur and Hi-Tech city and just had a few more kilometres before my destination was to arrive.

 Charminar in Hyderabad is listed among the most recognized structures in India, built in 1591.
Charminar in Hyderabad is listed among the most recognized structures in India, built in 1591.

I was emotional and nostalgic as my shoes touched the synthetic turf at the stadium. I had been here 10 years back as a school student competing in my first national games. Today as a 25 year old, I hold a job at an MNC here, explore the city and outskirts on my own as well as with a group of remarkable friends and love trying the vast gastronomical spread that the city lays down including the Kebabs, Haleem, Double ka Meetha, Pyaza Shorba and others.

The city has given me much more than the innumerable delicacies. It has helped me shed my troubled past, find great friends, dream big and live life once again, happy and carefree. I had come here with scars of a bad relationship and break-up. I had wanted to re-discover my old self, forget and forgive all the bitterness of the bad decision and live life once again to the full. And the city helped me do just that.

Being a sports buff, I had lost no time in enrolling myself at the Gachibowli stadium for swimming and at the Pullela Gopichand Academy for badminton sessions. It was a great relief to be able to come back into sports and that gave my wounded mind an opportunity to fight the past and create an optimistic slate for the future.

The local adventure and trekking clubs opened a new world of activities including rock climbing, weekend getaway travels and others to me. Being a history buff, I also enjoyed exploring the Nizam’s city, visiting monuments such as Golconda fort, Charminar and Chowmahalla palace and also volunteered for events such as Clean Golconda fort, walkathons and bicycle rallies. I was enjoying life in the city to the fullest.

As I crossed the finish line, I could sense the feeling of exhilaration and joy. Three months of hard practice and I had successfully finished my first half marathon. It was like as if a whole world of possibilities had opened for me. I knew I could go anywhere from here, that I had the strength and ability to take on challenges and grow.

I hugged my friends who had come to cheer me. After all, they were the best part of my life in this city. I owed a large part of my re-discovery and resurgence to these guys who had been within me through thick and thin in this beautiful city. Hail Hyderabad!

For the love of writing and for your favorite city.

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