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.

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