Saturday 25 February 2017

Glasgow Diaries

My heart was pounding in competition with the British Airways' rickety plane's engine. I didn't know which one was louder and more annoying. Going through immigration at Heathrow had been charming. From the unrelenting questions fired by the officer at the desk who then proceeded to send me to get an X-ray done at the airport's out of function machine (it had been so for the entire month!), I walked to the kind lady officer at the X-ray desk, who spotted my hassled face and said "are you alright, sweetheart?" when I was still a few steps away. I was struggling to hold back my tears as I told her that I was going to miss the connecting flight to Glasgow. She swiftly did the needful and assured me everything would be fine. The tall male officer who had stood next to her booth, then offered to walk me through to the connecting gate. I breathed in relief as I slumped myself in the waiting area. From unnecessary evil to generosity I would always remember - I had seen it within two and a half hours - my first international flight, my first taste of a foreign land.

I thanked God for the umpteenth time just as the wobbly plane turned at a sickening angle. I nearly swore at the pilot under my breath when my eyes caught the landscape below. They were like the ones I had only seen on TV or drawn in the art class. Slanting rooftops, green hills, a river, scattered clouds and a bright blue sky. It was mesmerizing! Glasgow. It looked peaceful yet alive. I felt something warm welcoming me. I nervously wondered what hues would it add to my canvas. I had flown thousands of miles to be here. Certainly, there had to be a purpose set higher above those blue skies.

I was going to join the love of my life. As much as I trusted him, I could not help the churning in my stomach. I armored myself mentally in preparation for the next immigration officer. To my sweet surprise, the lady was so friendly that it took a minute to sink in that it was all done and I was already walking towards the luggage belt. My eyes were working overtime by now trying to spot my precious suitcase and scanning the passage for him. Suitcase arrived, I hauled it to the ground and felt that familiar presence behind me. I turned and flew into his big arms. The embrace tightened, I rested my head on his shoulder. I had arrived.

Nine years since, I remember those feelings which have proved to be more than true. Glasgow has been as warm and welcoming and has embraced me equally as that hug from my man at the airport. I have met that friendly officer at the airport again and again in all the lovely folk I have come across here. We started our married life here, built our home together, our two sons were born here, made a few friends who I know will always be there - Glasgow has splashed in some of the most brilliant and everlasting shades in my life.

Glasgow Diaries will be me reliving many of these unfading memories, where this wonderful city and it's amazing people have formed a powerful connection with me - one that I am definite will always remain.

Tuesday 14 February 2017

The Annual Declaration of Love

Should I call him? It’s well past midnight already.
When he answers in a sleepy voice, I will say “Happy Valentine’s Day darling!”. He will say the same to me. I will then ask “You were fast asleep (as if I had expected him to be at some mad teenage party, ha!). I just wanted to wish you. Listen, you sleep now and we will talk in the morning. Good night love”. Hang up. Do this to the man who has to be up early in the morning, will then have a crazy schedule at work. Really??? Na, no, nope. How is tonight any different from the other times when he is away and I miss him except for this being the start of 14th February. I can’t find a reason. If he was here, then what? He would still go to work as normal. Perhaps come home with a bouquet of over-priced Red Roses (including a flimsy heart-on-a-stick or a silly foil balloon with swollen red lips), if he was lucky enough to find one by the time he finished work. Most likely we would order in a take-away for dinner, have some wine, put the kids to bed as usual, have some us-time and sleep. But then we do it whenever we want to all through the year without really marking the dates on the calendar. I much prefer the unexpected bunch of Lilies, Chrysanthemums, Carnations or Roses (at normal prices) that he brings in along with the grocery shopping.

Has marriage killed the charm? Or been together too long? In these 15 years or more, we have grown together, build a life together. Him holding my hand when I sit next to him while watching television is no less important than him holding it at times of misery, because it only tells me one thing – he loves me. I believe this is going to be case for the future (don’t want to say till I die on such a lovely day), then why should I confine my expression of love for him to a single titled day. This stands equally true for every other relationship I have – my sons, my family & all my friends. Everyone who I love or care for, I love them all the time and they should know this 24/7 x 365 days.

Love is the purest form of Faith. A Faith that keeps your Hope alive. That Hope which gives you the courage to smile through the toughest times. Love, in all its myriad forms, is what keeps us going, is what gives life its essence. I love you, I miss you, been thinking about you – say it whenever you feel it and really mean. The warmth, the embrace, the smile it brings on will be more than cherished. Love is a beautiful ripple – create it, spread it, be part of it, celebrate it, in each moment you live, in each day that life gives you. The wider the ripple expands, the more it enfolds in its return to bring back to you.

So, while you’ll be mega busy today keeping up pace at clicking the little blue thumbs-up at all the pictures of red roses, cards, gifts, ready-for-dinner outfits followed by the check-ins at the restaurants and plates of food in order of the 3-4-whatever course meal, posted with general knowledge information shouting something to the effect of ‘look, look, what I got’ or ‘see, see, how much I am loved’ on FB, I hope you also find time through the rest of the year to give a peck on the cheek, to pass the bear hug, to pick up the phone and call, to text, to say it aloud, to hold a hand, to just be there for everybody that matters to you. And once you’ve been doing this, you will no longer feel the need to go bonkers at this annual celeb(decla)ration of love.

PS. Did I wake up at the stroke of midnight to wish the love of my life? Are you kidding? I was nearly kicked out of his bed by my 2-year-old ‘coz he doesn’t need mummy once he’s fallen asleep. 

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!!

Wednesday 8 February 2017

The Night Before the Day

I cannot sleep. My beautiful little boy starts school tomorrow. I can tell he was a bit nervous because he asked to sleep with me. “I want to hug mummy and sleep” he said as I made him comfy in me bed. He’s always a bit hard to put to sleep, so I wasn’t surprised when he asked me all those questions about bones in the human body. The topic was unusual so I asked “what made you ask me about bones?”. He replied “I just wanted to know”. I spoke to him about being good at school, his matter of fact response being “I’m always a good boy, you know that”. And then it dawned on him that I will only be dropping him at the school and not ‘staying’ with him! His alarm was obvious. But he quickly settled as he would still see some of his friends and mummy would be back to pick him up early. “What if I don’t know how to study and the teacher thinks I’m silly?” I cuddled him, stroking his cheek. “Teacher won’t ask you to study. You listen to her, do as she tells, be good and you will be fine. You will learn.” I reminded him of how the head teacher had remarked that he is a confident boy, when we had visited the school. He smiled and put my hand on his eyes. Held my other hand in his small hand, just as he did since when he was a baby. I gently massaged his eyebrows. My baby was asleep. My baby – who won’t be a baby anymore – its official. I hugged him. Kissed his cheek while he slept peacefully. I tried to sleep but couldn’t.

My heart is welling up. I look forward to tomorrow morning when I will see my son dressed in his school uniform for the first time. When I will go to drop him to school. I know he will be fine but I could not close my eyes. I wished hard for his father to be with us, knowing all too well how badly he wanted to be there as well but couldn’t due to his work. And then I remembered. I remembered having done this almost 26 years ago. I remembered being alone that day, holding a tiny hand, walking a little boy to school. Taking him to his classroom for the first time and then I sat him – at the very front tiny desk – his grip at my hand stronger than before. I remembered those two beautiful little eyes looking at me through tears ready to drop. I had stroked the tuft of curly hair, softly taken my hand out of his, held his face in my hands, kissed his forehead and said “you’ll be fine”. A tear had trickled but no more fell, for those eyes trusted me. The boy sitting next to him watched all this and then asked “what’s your name?”. When my brother answered, the boy said “that’s my name too!”. My baby brother laughed. He waved me good bye and I walked out – at peace. I did it with ease, with much pride and I did it alone.  

Now, I think I’m fortunate. I will do it again tomorrow. I will do it with my first born. I will do it as a Mother. I will hold his little hand, walk my little man into his first classroom. And say to him “You’ll be fine”. I hope that he sees the same faith, if not more, and takes his first step into a wider world with ease and confidence. He sleeps peacefully while I write this. I look at him. A deep sigh of peace, a thanks for the blessing that he is, a smile, a longing to lie next to his little warm body and cuddle him – I know I will sleep. I have to wake up for tomorrow, when I will live a proud moment, when I will create a beautiful memory – one that will always light up my heart in the years to come whenever I think of it. 
As felt on 15/08/2016 @02:04 hours

Happy 'coz the course is set

Life has been wonderful in everything its brought to me, good and bad, valuable lessons learnt along the way. I'm forever grateful for its blessing. Parents who taught me much of what shaped me, a brother who's been a pillar, a doting husband who filled my life with so much love, companionship & happiness - You are my Rock and two handsome little boys who are the center of my universe - nothing compares your hearty laughs and pure, innocent, eager, endless chatter. I sincerely appreciate the family I married into, for being loving, understanding and working together to build the lovely relationships we have today. Life would be incomplete without a crazy mix of friends. I have always thanked my fortune for being surrounded by some very intelligent ones who in the times they stood by me, kept me sane. 

Life cannot and should not be easy. That would be dull. It is the challenges that life throws at us, which usually bring out the best (and the worst), introducing us to ourselves anew each time. Plodding, walking, madly chasing, I have come a long way. Amidst all this are those fleeting moments where I see the missing, a flicker of hope that I could still perhaps do it. This tiny speck is what I want to kindle here. 

I have been a daughter, a sister, a wife, a friend, a daughter-in-law, a sister-in-law & a mother. It's time now to also be me.This is amazingly gratifying. I am really happy! 


Sometimes associated with particular events, at other times just random emotions zig-zagging across my being, MOODS shares moments as felt by the heart. The endless number of feelings and their intertwined complexity has never stopped to amaze me. It is fairly easy to state 'how I feel' but we don't analyse often enough 'why I feel the way I feel', which is what would help us understand our own self and others. It is so important to do this. A lot of times, this may happen retrospectively because it is only human to go with the flow when in that mood. For me, it has often been a self-discovery, a lesson that perceptions change constantly, that a bit of mind needs to be present in any mood to prevent us from being carried away totally. 

Moods - the many halts in the humdrum of the daily life with some after-thoughts. There will be some that you may relate to and others which make you say 'what is she talking about?'. For me, they are like trying to find the end of the rainbow, which only moves farther as I walk towards it. I know there is no end, but I go on because I do love the colors that their spectrum adds to life.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Yellow Dreams

This is it. This is what I have dreamed of. This is what makes me happy. It's my escape into a world of my own creation, one that always makes me smile in the end. Where there's always sunshine, there's always blooming flowers, there's always beautiful butterflies. It stretches as far as my vision goes, it rises as far as my eyes meet the skies. It's open. It's wide. It's free. Open to my mind getting to play with all the thoughts I want to pen down. Wide enough to have scope for all the other things I want to carry on alongside. Free - in spirit and soul, no judging, no fears, no limits. I have started what I hope will become a journey that never ends. I do not know where it will take me. I am only glad I am not static anymore. Wandering through the sunshine, flowers, butterflies - yellow scattered all over. Yellow - beautiful, bright, bold - a desire beaming at me. A desire to flow, to be free, to be just me. This is a small step forward. 

And you're more than welcome to walk along - with me & my yellow dreams.