It is hard for me to believe that two months ago, I was nervous about moving to Bombay. I was not quite sure what I was doing with myself. Here are the simple facts I did know at the time:
1. I have been hired by ConnectFor — an online volunteering platform — to work on their operations and communications team.
2. I have found a small apartment, shared by 3 other girls, walking distance from my office.
3. I have zero friends in Bombay.
Armed with unwavering enthusiasm and naïve optimism, I landed here on June 27th.
Let’s fast forward through the initial homesickness and awkward introductions to smoother sailing times-
At work, my co-workers were equal parts passionate and professional. I found myself admiring their work ethic and looking forward to conversations with them; topics included but were not limited to volunteering, world events and good old Bollywood gossip. I found that my roommates were warm and open. I was invited to dinners and movies and parties. My social calendar filled up and I found myself creating my own web of friends. There was, of course, the inevitable questions that I had to answer. Why did you move to Bombay? Where do you work?
The answer to both of these questions was the same. ConnectFor. That online volunteering platform I mentioned earlier? Yes, that. It’s a simple idea that focuses on matching supply with demand. There are too many people out there who have the time, resources and desire to give, but do not know exactly what to do. There are too many non-profit organizations who want these volunteers but do not have the right means of tracking them down. It focuses on creating structure within the social sector in Mumbai; a space that for too long, has housed organizations doing wonderful work without providing them the resources to grow.
“It must get tiring to explain your job to people all the time”, remarked a friend, who had witnessed me plunge into the genesis and operations of ConnectFor for the umpteenth time.
“Not at all”, I replied with a smile, without disclosing the fact that sometimes, it is all I can think about. This simple idea that transformed my life. Apart from the fact that it serves to connect people with the causes they are most passionate about, ConnectFor also introduced me to a city that I fell in love with, to a passionate team of do-gooders that I call my co-workers. So the next time you find me in your social gathering, looking a little lost because I’m the new girl who recently moved to Bombay, come up to me and ask me where I work. I promise you, it’ll make my day.
Greeshma Rajeev is part of ConnectFor’s Operations and Communications Team, and currently entirely infatuated with Bombay.
Become a member of the ConnectFor Community by signing up at www.connectfor.org