According to the Government's notice, all the colleges in the state were supposed to start on September 22, 2008. This should have given me enough time to go to the college to take admission and stay in Mumbai for the week to search for accommodation, food and other necessities. After all, I was there on the 7th of the month. You'd think that would have given me enough breathing room. But "my new college" threw a wrench in that plan almost instantly. They put up a notice the very same day I went there which said that the first year would commence on the September 9! That gave me less than two days to pack up everything and move to Mumbai.
I realized later on that that move was the reason I didn't have any trouble adjusting. The truth was that I didn't really have any time to adjust. Everything was so rushed that there was no time for any kind of mental preparation. There were just a bunch of hasty goodbyes to friends and the bare minimum packed into my trusty sack. Everything else would have to wait.
I moved into my Uncle's house for the time being. He lives in Bandra (which isn't very far from Dadar where my college is). My mom came with me and stayed for a week to sort out the accommodation and food issues (I was really taking the living alone thing seriously and staying with relatives wasn't exactly on the agenda).
After a week of fruitless searching we were back to square one. The rooms that we had seen in and around college were a bit expensive for someone to live alone. And I didn't know anyone from college to share a room with. We went to the Govt. hostel to see if that would take care of the issue but I dismissed it after just one walk through it. Other, more affordable options always seemed too far from college. All in all, it seemed I would have to live with my Uncle for the foreseeable future. A prospect I had hoped to avoid.
In the meantime, our college had started in full swing and there was plenty of work to keep me busy on that front. Most days I'd leave at 7 and get back at 9. I didn't have the will or the energy to continue my search for an accommodation.
After about a month of this, my Uncle got a call from one of his friends saying they wanted a paying guest to keep their mother company. This was one opportunity that I couldn't let go. We went to meet them on a weekend and luckily, the house was close to my college. I think it was an instant decision on our part. The locality was excellent. There was a mess just downstairs and there was no problem of transportation at all. It was like the perfect fit. To add to that, the landlady, Mrs. Gavaskar was like my own grandmother. It didn't take any time for us to bond at all. After a small chat, the date was fixed. All the formalities were done and I had finally found my first new home in Mumbai.