One year down, forever to go…

It’s been a year. 23 April 2018 will be etched in my milestones forever.

We made it here. To Canada.

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I never actually focused about where I would settle in my life. The place never actually crossed my mind to really think about. Hence, it made it easier for me to settle down in India soon after my marriage.

I had my concerns about staying in India. Too many to list. Let’s just say, it got to a point where, whenever we be driving up the Mehdipatnam bridge, I would look at the sky and say a silent earnest prayer to God, that someday, please make me drive this bridge ( it lead to the airport at the very end of it), only to fly away from this land forever. Please make me see that trip where I would go away from this place forever.

I read somewhere, and to this day I wholeheartedly believe, that a prayer made earnestly never goes unheard. There are always angels around who carry the prayer upwards.

God put me in that country for 6 years. For reasons I now understand. He wanted me to learn a lot of lessons in life, learn to identify different types of people and attitudes, cultures, lifestyle. All of it was so starkly different from how I was brought up. And hence, the yearning to make a change happened. But I never prayed for any place in particular.

I always loved the gulf. Saudi Arabia in particular. That’s all where I thought I wanted to be. But did not exactly yearn for it. My husband on the other hand, had his eyes set on Canada since the early months of our marriage. Or so I thought. He told me eventually that he wanted to move to the West since his teenage.

For me, the West was far fetched. I never even thought in the direction of how one would go there, live or do anything about it. I knew the Gulf like the back of my hand.

My husband tried his first attempt to Canada along with one of his friends, back in 2012. It did not work out. We were to be having our first baby together. We had bought our first car together. I was just learning the ropes of marital adjustment in a joint family.

He then tried his luck in Dubai and then in Qatar. Middle East was not cut out for his skill type. We then stopped trying for the Gulf. He did. I did not think much about moving anywhere yet. I made one visit to my parents home in Saudi Arabia with my daughter. It was just a one and half month trip and I was back home in India.

India was a huge challenge for me. But I kept going. Kept moving on. One fine day, in the middle of 2015, my husband began this process of Canadian PR visa processing. He decided that we both should be writing the IELTS exam. I had a solid Bachelors Degree and a wonderful job experience oversees. He had 9 solid years of experience in his industry along with a masters degree. And so I began the preparation for writing the exam. We both wrote it and we both aced it. Eventually we got the processing of our visa started. Our family wasn’t hopeful we would make it. They doubted our success. But then it happened.

On the September of 2017, our visas came in. My husband, me and our two kids. We had got the stamp to live and die in Canada forever. We had gotten the Golden Goose. The Canadian PR Visa.

We decided to fly out in April, to let out the snow season pass. Then came April. My father-in-law lost his parents at an early age. Hence, he was reluctant and super disappointed that we were flying away from him, and taking the kids with us too. For us, it was our future. Heartbreakingly though, we bid our families goodbye.

The journey to Canada and consequently this one year, was an eye opener. A huge block of learning for me. I got a lot of time on my hands to retrospect myself. To think who I actually am, what all I wanted out of life, what all I wanted to do for my kids. Everything. My equation with my husband. My life with him. My life with myself alone. Both of us got a better chance to parent our kids. We got closer to them. Understanding them better.

For the kids, they got into an amazing school, with amazing teachers and friends. They got a chance to play in the park in the open and breathe in fresh air with all green around them. They got to play in the snow. They got to play on the sand and water on the beach. They got a chance to have a great start at life. Almost all of it they would have been deprived of, had they been continuing back home. They miss their grandparents, their aunts and uncles, though. Every gain has a loss that comes with it. My husband and me are trying our best to make a vacation back home soon, so the kids can meet all the folks they have missed out.

Me? An Asian woman is separated from her parents and siblings the day she walks out of the marriage function hall with the groom and his family. To top that all, I lived in India for 6 years and my parents and siblings continued to reside in Saudi Arabia. I was stripped of their comfort for so long, it did not sting me much when I moved to Canada. Except, that my mom used to make atleast one trip every year to India, and once in a while dad used to come along too and I got to meet them. Sometimes my siblings came along with them too. This is the first full year without meeting anyone and I really miss mom.

Last met mom and my last 3 siblings 1 year ago. My dad, 2 years ago. And my brother, 6 years ago. We all are a close knit family. Whatsapp our medium of connection as always. But human warmth is a whole different thing. Still, I am used to loneliness and physical comfort deprivation. I am holding on. Moving on.

Canada has been a wonderful country since our arrival. I have made some new friends. Checked out a few places. Experienced all of the weather conditions. Loved every bit of it. Regret none of it.

It has been one year since….and forever many more to go…God listened to me on that bridge someday…and here I am….Thank you God.

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Pani Puri

Those who know me, know that this word is synonym for me. Like the first person who comes to their mind when they see this dish is to think of me.

I am that crazy about it. That crazy crazy. It is like my drug. My high.

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A little description: These are little fluffy all-purpose flour balls, that are broken on one side, chickpeas or green peas added in, tamarind paste added, and then dipped into this green chilly coriander herb mixed water. The more spicy it gets, the fun it is!

My memories of this dish in childhood is blurry. I picked up the taste in my early teenage. Back in Saudi Arabia, we lived in an exclusive Hyderabadi area. Among all the siblings of mine I was taken to this chaat dish. We had this Rafiq Uncle whose shop was behind our house. He and Raju Uncle made the most awesome pani puri and other chaat dishes like bhel puri, dhai puri and samosa chaat. They also sold this absolute awesome samosas. I used to go along with my little brother to get tea for my parents. They loved this amazing dum ki chai (Tea). For the life of me this Tea beverage never has fascinated me. I love coffee.

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Then one day my favorite shop closed down. Rafiq Uncle and Raju Uncle left the country. It was heartbreaking for me. I hunted around the area and found two new food joints that sold chaat. They couldn’t make it like those uncles. Eventually, I picked up the taste from Bombay Chowpatti.

In the days before my exit from the country, my dad told me that Rafiq Uncle was back and he has began working on opening up his own food joint. It was too late. By the time I left, the store was still to open yet.

Once back in India, my mother-in-law shared my love for chaat. She understood my passion for Pani Puri in particular and made sure she got it for me each time she went out. There were stores like Gharonda, Gokul Chaat, Eat Street, Dadu’s and lastly Agra Chaat, where my hubby took me to as and when I got those mad cravings.

Fast forward to 2019, I am here in Canada. Darkness always seeks light. Something like that. My soul craved Pani Puri all this while. We tried once at Lahore Chaat & Burger, but that being of a Pakistani cuisine did not touch those strings of flavour for me.

And then after much hunting, waiting, patience, we finally headed to, ironically, Bombay Chaupatti here in Canada. Every dry drop of my food deprivation was quenched at this store. I found that room in the home that everyone has as their cosy corner. My Pani Puri heaven.

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Fixed.

Yay! Hubby has fixed the laptop issue.

Do I remember what I wanted to write though. Nope. Erased out of mind.

Last trimester symptoms. Forgetfulness. I live in bliss. I am learning to live carefree mostly. So okay, I forgot what all I wanted to say earlier.

I have moved back to listening to songs. It is a phase. It will pass. Right now though, I am having fun, being carefree.

Maybe I should leave my laptop ready up in a position where I just need to press the power button, on this table side. Given a canvas, I can paint with my words. I love doing that. Writing, expressing, letting go.

Life does this eerie thing. Gives you bouts of sunshine, then sprinkles it with thundering snowstorms of problem. Some that are soul shaking. I had a meltdown two nights ago. Something he said. And my mind made a mountain of that molehill. Morning came and we swept that away.

Seek bliss. It is so good. Being carefree. Not thinking too much. Not feeling too much. Not holding on to anyone but self. Loving the self. Giving peace to the self. I did that. I made it feel okay for me to make mistakes, to forget, to do something in a wrong way, to say something that wasn’t meant to or impolite or that required less thought. I forgave myself. I said that okay I have done it. Now what. Move on. It has helped me loads. It has helped me take baby steps back to building myself.

Also no matter how detached I have made myself from my spouse, he still carries my heart around with him. I had put him before me, even before the kids. Wrong move. Now I gave each one of us the due place. All in line. No one ahead or behind. So much mental and spiritual peace. If he hurts me with his words or action, it does not destroy me so much. It does cause an earthquake within me. But it is easier now to stand back up and move on. God taught me one awesome trick. To find the knacks in repetitive events, actions and content. That’s what I did. I learnt what brings peace to me in times of turmoil. Silence. Does wonders. I love him. I always will. Just maybe not with all that gush and gusto. Unwillingly, not at all by own will, but just because of things he did and said, I had to make him climb down that ladder I placed him high upon. I used to be a hopeless romantic. Too gentle, too fragile. Nope. I have encased myself. Build those walls. Enclosed. He does remind me sometimes of how I used to be different. Nope buddy. Not going there again. Not doing that again. We are amazing this way. I look at you with the exact intensity you look at me. It is working. Wonders. Lets walk on this way.

On another note, my son is hearing great. All thanks to God. He is also now speaking smoothly in Urdu, and his English is picking up smooth. I just love his cute accent. He has become quite naughty and as boyish as a boy of his age could be. Charming!

My relationship with my daughter is working out better now. I have reprimanded myself as much as I can to be gentle with her. It worked out fine. I no longer yell at her or even try to hit her. We give each other hugs frequently. I don’t know why I used to push her away when she used to try to hug me. Now I am trying to hold her as close to me as I can. She does have some really annoying habits which keep adding faster than lessening. I try hard to explain to her in a loving way without messing up her self esteem.

Song of the day… Do Bol

 

Ja tujhy maaf kiya

Ja tujhy maaf kiya

Ooo

Pyar ki raah mein mujhko yu chorne waly

Pyar ki raah mein mujhko yu chorne waly

Ja tujhy maaf kiya Ja tujhy maaf kiya

Dil ko torne waly

Sitam hai khudiya

Kyu Pyar banaya

Jo looty dil ka jahan

Dil itna rolaya

Hain ghum muskaraya

Ye apny hai anjan…

Toot kar pyar kary dil jo

Bikhar jata hai..

Toot kar pyar kary dil jo

Bikhar jata hai..

Ishq toh samne ankhon ky

Mukar jata hai…

Bojh hai dil pe muhabbat ka

Utaru kaisy…

Bojh hai dil pe muhabbat ka

Utaru kaisy…

Kehky do bol ye ek umar

Guzaru kaisy..

Rakh dy pemany py apno ko

Tolny waly..

Ja tujhy maaf kiya Ja tujhy maaf kiya

Dil ko torne waly

Sitam hai khudiya

Kyu Pyar banaya

Jo looty dil ka jahan

Dil itna rolaya

Hain ghum muskaraya

Ye apny hai anjan…

Unthankful

You know what happens when one gets above and beyond their need, one sometimes forgets to be thankful. One forgets to be grateful.

And then this happens. Time gives you time. Guilt pokes you. And for impertinent fools like me blessings then become the biggest challenges of my life.

It is not of my nature to be ungrateful. But I did. I forgot to be thankful. I forgot to acknowledge my blessings.

And now, I have become a ticking disaster. Every thing that was my blessing is slipping from beneath my feet. And the good news I got?

It became my nightmare.

As I walked home from the subway, in this very chilly windy weather, I felt like the fallen leaves. The faded autumn.

I was clearly an ass. I had a wonderful summer. A wonderful early autumn. I got what I yearned for. Everything..and even more. And like a fully bummed ass, like a stoned fool, I let time pass. Being grumpy about the things not in my hands or what I don’t have.

So now, I am paying for my mistakes. For being unthankful. It’s easy to make up to man. But to God?

How do you tell God you are sorry? How do you tell God that you forgot to pray. Or that you remembered to pray each time but it off, binge watching some stuff that would never do any good anyway.

I had came here with so many hopes and dreams. And now, I don’t know.

But then no. I am a phoenix. I rise from my own dust. I shall plead with God. To forgive me. For not Thanking Him. For not remembering him for this unbounded favor. I have had a little difficult life. But now when it got easier and fun, I forgot God,

We get so easily hurt by our dear ones when they forget us. We are so dear to God. Why was I so lazy?

Just like the spring, I have to come back, To give Thanks again. To pray again. To be grateful again…..

 

Pouring Rain

Things have looked brighter than my previous post. Such is love. It kills you once and you think that you are done with everything. Then one smile, one hug and one heartfelt embrace, then all the angst melts away. Like new…everything rebirths itself.

Toronto had one windy rainy Monday. I was taken by surprise, utterly overwhelmed. I wasn’t wearing too much warm clothes and the rain hit my face through my children’s umbrella. I ran across the store and got a huge lovely one for me.

Man must never expect anything from man. Man must only expect from God and that too in full faith. Simple to say. Simple to believe. Hard to execute.

I caught a cold, a headache and a lousy itchy throat.

Feeling a lot better today, hence out and about in the library.

I was hell bent on getting a part time job last week. Everything was out fine till Saturday morning when my partner asked me to give myself some more time before I plunged into the workforce. I know I have lots of hours between my kids schooling. It broke my heart for the thought to not work again and wait for I don’t know how long. But I am glad I waited and listened to him. I fell ill this week. That would have been fatal on the job first week.

I have hence come up with a new idea. I shall teach people English. There are many I see here struggling for the same. I shall do my best flex my schedule.

I hope to do a lot of things:

  1. Buy a new laptop
  2. Buy a cellphone for myself
  3. Redo my wardrobe and kids too
  4. Get a Canadian Degree
  5. Buy a car.

Till here. I want to reach till here minimum. One day I hope to run an empire. I dream of running an organisation. Make a change in people’s lives.

Or maybe I am being too fancy….

So long…

Its been so long. Once again. Do I lack consistency? Maybe, maybe no.

Have you ever fallen. Into a deep abyss. Such that you feel you are climbing out. But as soon as you look up to see how much more to go. Then you gawk at how much more to go on. Then you slip. Then you fall back down there.

Kya shay hai ujadna

Hamein maloom nahi tha

Hum royenge ithna

Hamein maloom nahi tha

Behjayega chehra

Hamein maloom nahi tha….

I got stuck on repeat to this song.

As I sit here at 12:05 am in the night, I just retrospect on myself. I have drifted away. From who I used to be.

There has been an emptiness within me since childhood.

Waise toh nazar atey hai

Sabh apne hai lekin

Koi nahi hai apna

Hamein maloom nahi tha….

Auron ke liye

Hum basatey rahey duniya

Khojayega ka rasta

Padjayega marna

Khojayega saaya

Hamein maloom nahi tha

Hum royenge ithna

Hamein maloom nahi tha…

Apne tootey huwey

Khwabon ko

Sambhalun kaise

Khud ko duniya

Ki nigaho se

Chupalo kaise

Apne haaton se diya

Dil ka bhujalu kaise?….