It’s amazing how certain things just instantly ring a bell in our head, flood our mind with memories, and take us back in the past. For me, Liverpool, or as I call it my ‘home away from home’ for a year as I pursued my MBA played a very big role in shaping the kind of person I am today, and of course helped carve the path for my future career. But, I’m not going to stress on details about that. I’d rather spend the next few minutes taking you on a journey to Liverpool, just the way I see it.
Liverpool, most of us know is home to two of the Premiership’s biggest football teams and it’s not surprising to find people of all age groups engaging in heated debates on this topic, in a pub, on the streets, or even during MBA lectures! But what some of you may not know is that this beautiful city is also the birthplace of The Beatles. Music runs in the blood of every ‘Liverpudlian’ and the city’s throbbing night life and numerous music festivals are indeed a treat for music lovers like me!
Now, you’d probably be wondering, all this comes at a later stage, but how easy or difficult was it for me, being an Indian, leaving home for the first time, to live all by myself in a new country? I’m not going to lie; I did have my moments of anxiety as I was packing my bags to embark on this ‘mission’. This may sound like I’m preparing for war but then again, Bollywood does have its influence on me, over- reacting is in my blood. To my surprise and my parents, it took me precisely a week to settle in this city oozing with energy, life, culture, and so much more. Liverpool’s inhabitants are famously friendly and warm; so don’t be surprised if someone approaches you by the commonly used phrase ‘love’, its just their way of displaying affection.
Another interesting feature of this great city is its Waterfront stretching along the Albert Dock, and sharing the same status as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites- Great Wall of China and our very own Taj Mahal. This was my favourite part of the city; on the days when I was missing home, I would stroll around the Albert Dock, watching the sunset over the River Mersey and breathing in the sheer beauty surrounding the city, the sight was awe-inspiring.
Liverpool has a large Indian community, and every street has at least one Indian restaurant, so you’ll never feel like you’re too far away from home. There are also a number of Indian grocery stores selling local Indian spices, vegetables and other condiments. One of my most treasured memories was the time I cooked a full course Indian meal for my Spanish flat mates, who to my surprise loved the spicy food! If you’re a foodie, there are loads of food and drink festivals where you can try authentic cuisines from around the world and eat to your hearts content!
I recently went back to Liverpool for my Graduation ceremony and as my feet touched the ground, I was overwhelmed by a multitude of emotions; happy to have made such a great set of friends and created such wonderful memories, while at the same time sad at the thought of having to leave. This city shall always have a special place in my heart, for embracing me and sharing a special message, so aptly said by John Lennon, that in a big city like Liverpool, however far away you may be from home, ‘All you need is love’…