Somewhere on the streets of London, one damp December night, Shirley Hegde slowly transported her most precious cargo (me) across the city in her uterus. Having just satisfied our mutual craving of cheeseburgers. She was tired and bloated and I was relaxing, silently floating around her amniotic ether. We both needed to pee. She decided to take a shortcut home and turned into a dark alley. Bad decision. A man stepped out of the shadows and Shirley nearly pissed herself. His fingers were curled around the hilt of a knife. As the moonlight glittered across its sharp, silvery surface, Shirley flipped her shit, and instinctively shielded me with one hand and threw her handbag at the man and skedaddled as fast as her chubby ankles would take her.
She stormed into her home of 6 months, picked up the landline and demanded that her husband at the time (my biological father) book her a flight back to India. Getting a UK passport for her unborn daughter wasn’t worth the goddamn trouble of living alone in a city as dangerous as London. Understandably my father agreed and booked her a flight back. Inexplicably it was for Chennai. Not Bangalore, the city my mother lived in with him. When she landed at the airport, she was met by… Nagi, my future male au pair/my father’s current personal assistant. Not my father.
He checked my mother into a hotel and a few days later she went into labor, he checked her into the hospital. At exactly 10:10am on the 5th of January, I was born. The doctors wrestled me out of my mother’s C section cut and I cried.
I cried because I had been plucked out of the silent calm of the cosmos and forced to be a sentient soul trapped in a casing made of flesh and bone on this gravitationally tethered planet shaped hamster wheel we call Earth. Ew.
But that was just the beginning. A lot has happened since then. I got a new dad. Got 3 half siblings. Got a gnarly scar from a bike crash at the tender age of 5. Moved houses so many times I stopped counting. Attended public schools, private schools, Catholic schools and International schools. Almost got suspended from a few of them. Definitely got suspended from one of them. Did my first summer internship at my dad's work. Decided the corporate life wasn't for me because the clothes were too square. Went to an all girls university in Bangalore. Triple majored in Psychology, Economics and English. Got punched in the face by a drunk dickhead a week before my final semester exams. Got 30 stitches on the inside of my mouth. Took that dickhead to court. He got bail but was forced to do a mandatory drug and alcohol test every month for 7 years (LOL!). Lost sensation in one tiny square inch of my lower lip. Graduated. Attended an interview at JWT Delhi. Got the job. Became the legal guardian of my youngest brother who was still in school. Met with his headmistress when he was suspended for drinking alcohol on a school trip. Learned the job on the job. Fell in love. Fell in love with the job. Made some fun work. Freelanced for Google London’s in house agency - Toaster remotely. Got an offer to become Toaster India’s first employee. Went to an interview at Wieden + Kennedy Delhi. Got hired on the spot. Worked on my dream brief. Fell out of love. Won a bunch of awards. Got depressed. Got fat. Got back sensation in my lower lip. Dumped my boyfriend. Quit Wieden + Kennedy Delhi. Got a job at an agency in Singapore. Started packing up to move to Singapore. Got invited to interview at another agency in Amsterdam. Got a job offer. Got invited to see the Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam office. Got a job offer. Moved to Amsterdam. Discovered Rocycle. Discovered techno. Had the best summer of my life. Got played. Got betrayed. Got sent to hold the fort down when the Delhi office was in between ECDs and had no CDs. Came back to Amsterdam. Went on my first solo holiday. Went on my second solo holiday. Got invited to work in Japan. Moved to Tokyo for 6 months. Got a boyfriend. Sold an idea. The pandemic hit. Shot a film with the client on Qlink. Moved back to Amsterdam abruptly. Worked for two offices at once. Spent more time in track pants than one should admit. Got laid off. Got a job interview for WE ARE Pi as I was exiting my W+K break up meeting. Got the job. Lost the boyfriend. Still wearing track pants.