Day 16- Wordless Wednesday

Since words are on an indefinite strike I thought I will go wordless.

Some pictures that I clicked while taking a walk today.

Let me offer you all these views as a thank you, especially to my fellow blogathon-ers, for not letting me give up. For being there. For giving the push. This is what I have loved the most by far about this blogathon. This handholding that binds us, keeping us from tripping. And this is what makes me never give up on blogging ❤

Did I say words were on a strike?! 😉

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So Where is Home for Me?

The cliched answer would be..home is where my heart is.

And I have my heart very much safe and alive in Delhi. So to me Delhi is home. India, to say it in a larger scheme of the term. Despite her misgivings. Despite her shortcomings. Despite the fact that I left my country about 13 years ago along with my husband in pursuit of a better life. Despite all that that is home for me because I was born and raised there, earned and learned a major chunk of who I am from there, and more importantly I am a citizen of my country.

Because.. all said and done, no matter how much I may have gained from here in the Middle East, how so ever much this region may have done and may be doing to make us feel accepted, it will never accept me as its own, as its citizen. That status, that honour, that privilege I will always from the country I was born in, and belong to.  And that makes a lot of difference in the way I perceive the definition of home. Which is why there’s still the hope and resolve to go back to her for good again one day.

Now in the last decade plus that I have been away, we have moved places many times, each time making the city we moved to, our own little home away from home. Its not as if we have ever felt unwelcome in any of the places the we have lived, we have perfectly been able to warm up to them and vice versa. Yet, there has been a conscious effort to keep the flame of our intention to go back, burning . We have never had a long term plan to live in this region ever. In fact when we left Delhi in 2002, to come to the Middle East, we had told ourselves that we will go back in 2 years. Its a different thing that its been 13 years here! Yet the region is a wee bit away from being a home in the truest sense. Its probably because the lever of the 25 years of my life in India is still heavier than the 13 years that I have been here. So the sense of belonging is still more towards my home country than the adapted one.

I do not know what life has in store for me and my family. Where we will be in the next 5 years, so to speak. I am not sure whether my views or my definition of home will undergo a change ever. What I do know is that I am immensely grateful for the way life has shaped up so far. And I hope I continue to be, wherever my family and I are.

One year round-up!

Yes its been an year since our move to Dubai. And like the clichéd statement goes, time has simply flown! It is true. It’s been a roller-coaster year. So much so, as I was telling a friend, it feels as though we have been here much longer because so much has happened in the last one year!

The first month of our arrival whished past in house hunting. Believe me, much as the whole prospect of finding that right house was exciting, the process of hopping from one prospective house to the other, each time utterly dissatisfied, making us unsure of what we were looking for, was every bit daunting too. But, in the end when we did zero in on a house, we realized that the key was not in finding the right house, but turning the house into a home just right for you!

What made our transition far easier was Namnam. She was the first one to adapt to the move. And adapt, she did, beautifully! *touchwood*. She took to this place so well that I felt driven to chuck my own resistance to move on. Yes, she did miss her life back in Doha, but she didn’t allow that to come in the way of a new life that was waiting to unfold right here.

She welcomed different ways to occupy herself. She learned to skate-board.  She enrolled in a drama workshop, that provided her a new avenue to open up and express herself.

Of course it helped that she found this lovely girl for a neighbour on the very second day of shifting, who made adjusting to the new surrounding even smoother for her. Today, she is one of Namnam’s dearest friends. And it’s endearing to watch them both looking out for each other and helping each other blossom into wonderful beings.

Barely a month later, Namnam & I flew off to Delhi, since there was still time for Namnam’s school session to start. While Delhi was unbearably hot, we could sneak out for a couple of days to the himalayas with our parents. A memorable getaway in every bit of the way!

*Edited to add that, while in Delhi, I had the good fortune of meeting another one of my dear blogger friends, the very famed Monika, a baker par excellence. You can find her spinning tales of her baking delicacies on Sin-A-Mon Tales. Though both of us were on a tight schedule, I’m so so glad that we could meet up 🙂

We got back in Dubai in time to give a go at a fresh start to the school routine. While Namnam was excited about it, I had butterflies doing salsa in my tummy with obvious anxiety that gave way to some words of advice for my li’l big girl!

Soon after, it was time to celebrate the li’l big girl turning 8. She had already made some friends in the compound and in the class. It was a good chance for her to know them better. So we had them over for an evening filled with some rocket launching, jaw-dropping chemical reactions, bottle popping and slime-making!

The month after that was the month of Eid which brought us the best ‘Eidi’ we could ever ask for, when our friends from Doha decided to pay us a surprise visit.

Once the b’day and Eid hangover settled down, it was time to welcome my father-in-law. The one month that he was with us was spent in taking him around the city all the while giving him a taste of my “enviable” navigation skill! Read it here if you don’t believe me 😀

As the year drew to a close, I also had a chance to reunite with 2 of my batchmates from school. It felt great to revive friendships and relive memories that went as far back as 2 decades and plus!

Speaking of friendship, the year was also about getting together with 3 of my blogger friends with their families. Rakesh, Ash & Vimmuuu. It was an evening  filled with laughter, poking fun and of course music. C’mon where there’s Vimmuuu, there has to be music, right!

I’m finding it a bit weird to call them blogger friends because, for one, their blogging accounts are more or less shut and frozen; secondly  the bond that has connected all of us now has grown much beyond blogging, and for that I couldn’t be gladder! 🙂

The new year had me realize a much cherished dream. To have my parents visit us together. The month of February was one of the best months this year! I can’t express in words the sense of fulfillment I experienced while Achan-Amma came visiting. Here’s wishing and hoping I get to have them over more often now..

Edited again to mention another special moment of this year(Amma, thank you for pointing out the absent-minded skip in the post), when my cousin and his family came visiting. Although we are third generation cousins, we were very close while growing up. Still are. He is my one and only older brother, so to speak. And we always stayed connected and kept each other updated on each other’s lives. Yet, funnily, it took some 12 years for me to meet his wife and kids when they came over to spend a weekend with us, a couple of months ago! It was a good occasion to explain our family tree to Namnam, the bond all of us cousins shared in our growing up years. Moments like this make me wish I could hold on to them always 🙂

Oh and yes, in the midst of all this, I managed to get my car banged and even get penalised for wrongful parking! Oh both are two separate incidents BTW.

I was at a traffic signal waiting for the red to go green, when all of a sudden a car rammed into mine from behind. Although I could get away with just a slight dent, but the other car suffered a major blow. And the man on the wheel, with another blow to his wallet as he ended up paying a hefty fine.  Fortunately Namnam wasn’t with me at the time, so she was spared from any harm from the massive impact. Thank God for that!

The second incident was when I was out with Namnam and Ash on a chocolatey date. I was so excited about the prospect of having chocolate that I didn’t bother to check whether I had to pay to park at the parking lot. Result, I got slapped a ticket!

This year also had us zoom off on a couple of road trips exploring beyond the city of Dubai . One of the trips was thanks to Rakesh who had organized a New Year bash in Umm al Qwain, where he had the dubious honour of getting me drunk beyond comprehension!

It’s been an exciting school year for Namnam. Academically she has had a smooth switch over. She got to take part in a school production of The Wizard of Oz, where she played the role of the wicked witch of the west.

She went for an overnight camping trip from school which was a first for her. She has given a recount of it here. Not to mention the 1 lunch box, 2 hats, 3 water bottles and umpteen pencils and erasers(and still going strong) that she has lost in this year! 😉

We could even make a flying visit to Doha last month and have the most wonderful weekend with our friends there.

And now here we are, back in Dubai again, looking to stay another year in the city and maybe another year and another..

So if one is to ask us , how has it been so far? I’d say, so far so good 🙂

Rambling #11- Sleep-Ramblingzzzz contd.(cheat post :P)

The eyes are less droopy today. So I think I can continue with my sleep rambling. Although I wouldn’t mind going back to the room and sliding myself under the quilt and taking another trip along the snoozeland, but then that would keep everything else planned for the day on standstill. More than that my mind would keep drifting back to Namnam who has had a far more exhausting week what with her crazy school and after-school activity schedule. She is the one in need of some good uninterrupted sleep more than anyone! She would never admit it though. She absolutely abhors sleeping. She considers it a waste of time. She’d rather utilize the time either reading or watching her shows or playing around or simply sitting and glaring into the sky or basically anything but sleep.

This aversion of hers to sleeping rattles me because I love sleeping and obviously I think my child would take after me in that department :P! See, isn’t that how the rule works? A doctor’s child becomes a doctor, a scientist’s child a scientist, a foodie’s child a foodie, a sleepy-head’s child grows up to be a sleepy-head! But just then I remember the contribution of the Y chromosome in creating the child. And incidentally its his genes that she seems to have taken after, I realize. My husband. The man shares a very ceremonious relationship with sleep. He sleeps purely because his body needs it. And that’s how our child treats it too.

Which reminds me, for all the love that I showcase on sleeping, this much preferred activity has landed me in trouble too once, eons ago. I must have been a fourth or fifth grader, can’t remember too well. What I do remember is how much I hated waking up in the mornings! But of course there was no choice, as I didn’t want to miss school. So began catching up on some

The day used to start insanely early for me, my brother & our Ma. Since the distance between our home and school was quite a bit, and also with no school bus in service, we used to set out even earlier than the time usually needed to cover the distance. But fortunately Ma was a teacher in our school, so we used to travel together. However our morning routine used to be a strenuous tussle more for Ma than me & my brother. Waking us up in time brushing her own sleepiness aside, and prodding us zombies every now and then in between her own chores, to get ready for school in time and scooting out to the bus stop with our bags and us in tow and then ensuring that we had got inside the heavily crowded DTC bus before dragging herself in was no mean feat.

On one such maddening day, we were in the packed bus, with Ma standing in one corner carrying by kindergartner brother, while I inched my way towards the front and managed to find a seat. Now this routine had initiated another sub-routine for the sleepy-head in me! The minute I found a seat I used to plonk myself and go dozing off till Ma would come and flick me as a cue to deboard. But that day, somehow the bus was so crowded that she couldn’t spot me in time to alert. Assuming that I would have gotten up, she carried on to the door and got off the bus.

I woke up all refreshed after my siesta, only to find something amiss around my surrounding. The bus was suddenly fairly empty and the views outside looked strangely unfamiliar. Reality hit me hard. I realized that my love for sleep had gotten the better of me I was well past my stop. Fortunately an acquaintance, sensing my unsettled look, figured out that I had lost my way. She travelled back with me and soon I was in my school all relieved and smiling and jumping with joy.

Whenever my memory takes me back to this little misadventure, the one thing that I unfailingly do is say a little prayer to God for sending that kind lady my way that day!

Anyway I vowed after that day never to be complacent and so callous. Hoever let me reiterate that I still love my sleep! 😀