Why I love Airports?

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Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport

As a child (not many years ago), I used to be fascinated with the place called an “Airport”. I had no idea how an aeroplane flew from Dubai and landed us in Mumbai. It was a mystery for a very long time. But even when the mystery of Aviation was revealed to me, the wonder and fascination of the airport remained intact. Even when the frequency of travel changed from once in two years to at least three times a year.

The earlier flights to Kochi were through Mumbai. The direct flight to Thiruvanthapuram was generally avoided because of the tiring drive to Palakkad. My uncle used to come to pick us up in his mighty white Ambassdor car. His jokes were a class apart. I have never seen or been with either of my grandfathers. This particular uncle was old enough to be my grandfather. In many ways I always considered him that.

The trip in those days was to meet our relatives and friends back in Palakkad and spend the two summer months in the cool Kerala rains. These days trips are about exploring the world. I love to travel. My first venture out of India was at the age of 5. But that was homeshifting and not travelling. I guess I can say that my first actual HOLIDAY tour was to Singapore/Malaysia back in the year 2001. My kids were 4 and 2 years old back then. Since that trip, we took a long gap (till 2010) from such holidays and began exploring the various parts of India instead. The kids were too small to handle such long travels abroad. In fact my son, who generally had no problems like vomiting, had a tough time on board the Singapore Airlines flight that day.

The Dubai airport has a special place in my heart. I have been coming here every year of my life since the age of 5. I have seen it grow. Yet, the fascination of the airport, be it in any part of the world, makes me feel like a child again. Ready to explore and learn something new.

Today, I embark on one such long pending tour. We are at present at the Heathrow Airport, Terminal 3, London , waiting to board our flight to Newark International Airport, New Jersey, USA. My first trip to the continent of North America.

My Earliest Memory

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My Earliest Memories

My Earliest Memories

I was barely 3 when my parents shifted from Chennai to Kerala. It has been told that I was the naughtiest child in the colony in Chennai. Apparently I had a boyfriend my age and we used to create havoc in the house when we were together. (Please, we were 3. Kindly refrain from indecent thoughts at least once in a while!)

I am told we tilted buckets of flour onto us and looked like white ghosts one day. When my sisters recounted these incidents to me, I could actually remember them. I remember the helpless anger on my mom’s face. Obviously, rice flour is of great importance in a Malayalee household! I think my mom’s Murukku was (world-)famous in our colony. I somehow remember her making those round and round designs onto a white cloth. She was always beautiful, but she looked most beautiful when she was not angry! This I remember too well.

My mom’s anger is (world-)famous. ( It’s my memory and I am allowed exaggeration) . If my sisters were foolish enough to commit mistakes, she would give them the silent treatment. That is worse than the shouting matches I have with my kids at home these days. Imagine how many less throat infections I would have had over the years if I had followed her footsteps! SHE JUST WOULDN’T TALK to us for days together! My sisters always envied me, because she always spoke to them through me during those times. I guess I was the youngest, sweetest and cutest always. (Again, I am allowed exaggeration).

My first memories revolved around my Grandmom. My mom’s mother. We stayed with her for almost two years in Kerala before shifting to Dubai. Our ancestral home in Palakkad was a typical “Tharavadu”. I remember running around in that huge house from Thallam (Dining Room) to Adukala (Kitchen) which was the center of the house. On both sides were verandahs and rooms on two floors with a staircase on each side to access the respective rooms. If my memory serves me right, that house had 8 bedrooms excluding the grain rooms and the rooms in the attic.

We had cows and goats in our sheds. Swaying coconut and beetle nut trees in the “parambu” around the house made those swishing sounds in the winds. Different varieties of mangoes and jackfruit trees everywhere. Plenty of vegetable patches neatly planted on acres and acres of land. I used to accompany the help when she fed the cows and the goats. My aunt used to force feed boiled fresh cow’s milk to us every night. I think that is when I  started hating the smell and taste of milk!

Farm House

I remember waiting for everyone to finish off their meals, I would gather all the banana peels and take it to Lakshmi , my favourite cow. She would moo at the sight of me, the help used to say. She knew her food was on its way. The help would then carry me towards Lakshmi and help me feed those banana peels directly into her mouth!

It is an amazing feeling when we try and think back to the very first memory that we have of our lives. It makes everything else around us seem so strangely unfamiliar. As I came out of the thoughts about these incidents, I felt misplaced in this apartment. Miles away from where I was born, and from where I first started my conscious life.

I wish my kids could run around and enjoy those gardens and plantations. That house has been taken down. All that remains are the foundation of the house , the wells and the animal sheds. Most of it in ruins. None of us have the time or the resources to go back and rebuild that lifestyle. I see that desire in my mom’s eyes even now. If there is one wish that I have that I know will never happen, it is to build a farm house there. To lead a life that I had seen with those young eyes at the tender age of 4. Carefree and in the lap of nature and its bounty. Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh grains, fresh milk and lots and lots of fresh air to breathe.

This is a part of a tag in our Facebook Write Tribe Group.

I was tagged by Aditi.

And I tag Sheethal.

Take it away Sheethal dear. 🙂 

Also adding this to the Write Tribe Wednesday Prompt which I have used in this post coincidently. 🙂

And the prompt “She looked most beautiful” comes from Shiva Kapoor who blogs at Where The Mind Is Without Fear.

Write Tribe
Pictures Courtesy : Sulekha Travels. Visit the webpage to see more photographs of the things I am talking about. Those pictures reminds me of those days. Too many coincidences happening with this post. 🙂

Miracle Garden 2014

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I don’t think there could have been a better way to spend the first day of the new year. I spent it with my sisters and our families at the Dubai Miracle Garden. I am sure with all the cameras we used to click photos that day, we would have easily crossed the 1000 mark. Yes, 1000+ photos of a 1.5 hours visit to the fabulous Miracle Garden, Dubai.

Last year I visited the place alone in the morning on a week day. I got a lot of pictures (find them at What My Camera Captures)  without random people in them. This time I wasn’t so lucky as it was too crowded. I did manage to click quite a few lovely patterns, but I missed quite a few too. 😦

What is the point in taking the pictures if you don’t share them right? So I always click two sets of pictures. One with family members and one without them for sharing here.  🙂

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Dubai Rains

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It is a totally wordless Wednesday. More Wordless Wednesdays here. 🙂

Chapter 17 : A Friendship

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You might want to read the previous chapters of Falling Apart before reading this chapter.

A friendship

A friendship

Ravin was the colleague who helped Shreya settle down into the new project in Bangalore when she had just started work 5 years ago. Now he had got promoted and heads the current project. Shreya was to assist him in managing this project and if things work out she would be heading projects of her own soon. The experience she gained working as a team member 5 years ago at this very same office, had got her through this far in her career. She was grateful to Ravin for his contribution to her career. 

Their friendship had blossomed well in the past few years. Through chats, emails and phone calls , they kept their friendship alive even outside of work. When Ravin had come in for a conference to Dubai, he was invited to Shreya’s home for dinner. He had spent an entire Friday after that with Shreya’s family. A visit to the Global Village that day was the highlight of Ravin’s trip. 

He enjoyed the company of Shreya’s kids and got along well with Nayan. The family life and the happiness in their household had left Ravin craving for more such meetings. He would touch wood each time he felt overwhelmed by the joy and laughter in that household. Life was indeed supposed to be like this. He had his share of fun times at home. But he realized now how he had missed out on by not having kids.

Shreya was back now for this new project and Ravin was looking forward to her visit. He had begun to share a lot about his life with Shreya online. It felt good that they could continue their friendship in person now. She had helped him get through a very difficult phase of his life. She had tried her best to make him understand the consequences of his actions. But she never judged him based on those decisions. She was indeed a true friend. 

Ravin was also present at the airport to welcome Shreya. It was not a requirement as part of his job. He just wanted to be there to welcome his friend. It was there at the airport that he met Shreya’s parents for the first time. He recognized them from photos he had seen in Shreya’s house in Dubai. He walked over to where they were seated in the waiting area and introduced himself.

Shreya’s parents knew about Ravin. He was indeed a wonderful person to talk to, they realized. They had spent at least half an hour talking and had forgotten about the reason they were at the airport.The flight was delayed by an hour and they realized that their daughter had landed only after she had come and joined in their conversation. Bangalore weather is just what Shreya needed to relax herself. Her parents and her new best friend just added the extra bit to lighten up her mood. 

To be Continued……

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I am planning a 31 part story this month. (God bless me and my readers) 😀

Please wish me luck….

As a part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and for NaBloPoMo

Picture Courtesy : 123rf.com

Chapter 2 : Just an evening

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You might want to read  Chapter 1: Something Special .  🙂

Just an evening

Just an evening

Rama closed the door behind her after finishing her gossip session with her new neighbour friend. She went straight into the kitchen to make milk and snacks for the kids. They would be home any minute now and would start complaining. She loved her granddaughters, but at times she felt a little awkward in their presence. She had moved in with them only a year ago. It was the need of the hour and she had gladly agreed to come and live with them in Dubai.

She found Shreya humming away as she prepared tea for herself. Rama’s black tea had been prepared for her too. Rama quickly mixed the eggs and milk into a bowl and added a pinch of sugar. French toast was on menu today and she got busy with her work. She didn’t notice Shreya slip away from the kitchen.

Rama always worried about her daughter. Shreya had become a loner this past year. Only talking when spoken to and keeping herself busy with work and home. Raising two teenagers is not an easy task. Shreya had made it this far and Rama had full confidence in her daughter’s capabilities.

Rhea was the first to get back home from her Math tuitions. She went to an old retired teacher who lived in the same building. She needed the additional boost to make it through her 10th board exams. She was already seated at the dining table when Shikha made her entry. She needed help with Arabic. Shikha’s classmate, who lived in the same building had also joined her at the table. They had just had a long walk back from tuitions.

Rama made sure all the kids had enough to eat and drink on the table and left the dining room to lie down for a while.Age was catching up with her and she needed the break. As she passed by her daughter’s room, she overheard Shreya talking on the phone.

“You promised! How can you back out like this? This isn’t fair at all. I will never forgive you for this.”

Rama walked in to the room and sat down next to Shreya. Her daughter laid down with her head on her mother’s lap. She tried to hide her tears from her mother. But a mother always knows. She feels it when her daughter has had a heartbreak. Rama didn’t know what the conversation on the phone was about. But she knew that Shreya would tell her when she was ready to. She stroked her daughter’s forehead as she tried to control her own emotions.

She noticed the wardrobe door was wide open. In it was a box full of decorations jutting out from amongst her daughter’s clothes. On the lower shelf, four gifts were arranged neatly wrapped with shining silver gift wrapping paper covered with big and small red hearts all over. Rama didn’t think it at all odd that a surprise was planned. What she found intriguing is the number of gifts. Why four?

To be Continued……

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I am planning a 31 part story this month. (God bless me and my readers) 😀

Please wish me luck….

As a part of the Ultimate Blog Challenge and for NaBloPoMo

Picture Courtesy : TripAdvisor