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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Its a small world!

I may have used this phrase many times before, whenever I have met people and discovered a common link somewhere during our niceties and conversations. Why, Facebook in itself is a world which makes you realize how true this one phrase is, isnt it? ‘Cos thanks to FB, anyone who knows someone you know will, at some point, end up knowing you and ‘fraandship-ing’! So, many a time I have disregarded this phrase for its flimsy representation.

But yesterday I realized how life can throw an amazing surprise at you and give such a wonderful meaning to the phrase.

It started with a school friend sending me a very short message on whats app asking about the exact name of the area I lived in. I answered him. But he had a different place in mind so we just left it at that. Then he messaged again mentioning about one of his childhood friends whose kids studied in the same school as Namnam. I wasn’t sure if he meant the same branch, or same school but different branch. So then we got chatting, and a couple of messages later I learned that the kids were indeed in the same branch. We got chatting some more, only to discover that the kids were not only in the same branch, but one of the kids was also in Namnam’s batch and this childhood school friend of my friend’s was already a dear friend of mine with whom I was connected though our kids’ school!

Until then, this dear friend and I had no knowledge that we had a common link with whom she was connected from Kerala, while I was connected from Delhi, and this link was now based in Chennai, while we were here sitting in Dubai trying to make sense of it all!

The games time chooses to play with you!

Anyway, the game is not over yet…

As if the moment hadn’t had enough of throwing enlightening surprises at us, I learned from the dear friend here that her husband was an alumni of my school, to which my other school friend was completely oblivious. We could pull out a few more names of friends and acquaintances that we commonly knew.  To say that we were at our wits’ end wouldn’t be an exaggeration. So this friend of mine with whom I had no prior connection was now connected through two different ways. Probably if we had dug some more of our respective lives, who knows we might have discovered some familial, ancestral connections even!

Well, much as it felt a li’l creepy, it was amazingly overwhelming.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how life puts you in different places at different junctures and then moves you around in different spheres over the course of your existence all the while connecting dots for you here and there, probably without you even realizing, and then one common thread comes right up, binding us all?

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 🙂

Parenting guilt of another kind?

The kind where you’re torn between feeling compelled to stand up for your child when she is being unceremoniously snubbed by a friend and miserable when you corner that friend into submission, probably even making her feel sad and alone in the process.

I have nothing to say in my defense aside the fact that all I had in mind was this inane urge to protect my child from feeling alone herself. I didn’t want her to sit there and feel helpless despite her attempt to convince her friend that her point of view was far more reasonable and the way she acted in a certain situation was right.

But that still doesn’t make what I did any right, does it? I am a horrible person :(. I feel so miserable because the friend in question is a very very sweet child otherwise. She is Namnam’s first friend in Dubai and a lovely person at heart. Its just that sometimes she tends to get a bit rude and argumentative with Namnam which bothers me. Especially when I see it happening in front of me.

I know that I should ideally be telling my child to stand up to herself in situations like this. And I do tell her more often than not. In fact we had a long chat yesterday after a similar friction with the said friend on her way back from school. I asked her whether she felt that her friend was curt and rude to which she said yes she had felt so. And I firmly asked her why she didn’t respond to her in the same rude manner. She said she didn’t want to be rude to her or anybody simply because she didn’t like being rude. She had rather ignore that person or stop talking to her than engage in an unpleasant argument. Fair enough, I thought.

Anyway, I understood her point well, but I also tried to make her understand that if she didn’t approve of anyone being mean to her then she had to be bold enough to speak up and tell them that she did not appreciate being talked to in such a manner.

So today, when a situation presented itself where the friend questioned a certain action of Namnam that occurred in school the previous day. I was happy to see my daughter standing her ground and explain why she acted the way she did.

She believed what she did was right, and in my eyes, as I listened to their conversation, she was every bit right too. But this friend of hers kept arguing otherwise. I would have probably let them sort it by themselves. And should have.

But the parenting guilt, somehow, crept in because I was unable to stand up for her yesterday which made me all the more aggressive this morning and go all out to shield my child from getting hurt again.

Unfortunately that gave way to another guilt of hurting another child. I know I wasn’t rude, per se. But I was curt enough to make her face droop. And that really made my heart go out for her.

Here I was trying to prove to my child that she could rely on me, only to end up setting a wrong example.

Parenting, sometimes, throws such awkward situations at you! Sigh!