Just because some things have to be recorded…

Last Saturday was daughter’s first ever performance on stage. She had been taking Bharatanatyam lessons for the last six months, and when we got to know that they would have a chance to take part in a performance, we were totally excited!

Things, however, started to go wrong right from mid week. Husband and I had taken turns at the flu, and had just heaved a sigh of relief when both of us recovered, without daughter catching it from us. Well,  we assumed too soon. Tuesday evening, she came down with a high fever. She had a school trip scheduled on Friday, and the big dance on Saturday. All the poor thing was wanted was to recover so that she could attend both. She stayed home on Wednesday and Thursday.

For two days, her fever showed no signs of abating. Just when I would think that she was recovering, her temperature would soar. Finally on Thursday night, her fever subsided completely, and she was fit as a fiddle on Friday morning. That of course complicated things further, because her school trip was quite a long trip, and she had her dance class in the evening, and I wasn’t sure if I should let her exert herself, especially, as she was just recovering. Finally I decided to let her go, as she was feeling so much better.

Her normal school hours are till 3:30, but that day, because of the trip, we were to pick her up at 4:15 instead. Her dance class was supposed to start at 5. So we would have to rush from school to the dance class to reach there on time. You know when things go wrong, they go all the way? The coach got stuck in traffic, and it was almost 5, when I finally managed to pick her up and load her into the car. It was 5:20 or so by the time we reached the dance class. We had no option of missing it because we had not showed the dance teacher the costumes. The older children’s costumes had been sourced by the dance teacher, but for the younger children, we had been asked to get any ‘pattu pavada’ that we had. And this was the first and last chance to show her the costumes and get her approval.

Finally we reached, got the clothes sorted, jewellary sorted, got the children to practise, and all that was left was to hope for the best.

Saturday dawned nice and bright. I had my whole day mapped out. We ran through one thing after the other, and managed to reach the venue at the time specified. No sooner had we entered, than the children where whisked off for some stage rehearsals. It was a proper stage, and they wanted the children to be comfortable before performing in front of the live audience. All of us mums, were told to stay away. That was when I realized that daughter had no clue which bag contained her snacks. We had packed snacks because we had a four hour wait, and that also was dinner time for most of kids. But they had this rule to keep away the parents, and it was certainly not the nicest thing – atleast not for us parents. Not knowing whether they needed anything, whether they needed help with their clothes.. It was nervewracking – that wait.

Finally, it was 7, time for the show to start. Our kids’ performance was scheduled at 8. The show was a community dance show, where several troupes were to perform. All the performances were just great! It was only when the show started, that I realized that it was a proper stage, and a proper auditorium, and there were so many different performances. One of the performances was by disabled/mentally challenged people, and I thought that it was the most moving performance I ever saw.

After a spate of performances, it was time for what we were waiting for. The kids lined up, and danced. Danced as if they had been doing this forever. Even the little, little ones, danced so well! To be honest, I had eyes just for daughter. I couldn’t believe it. Eyes welled up, chest puffed up with pride..Is that confident little girl on stage, my little girl?  All I wanted to do was capture the moment forever, and ever. We were not allowed cameras to take pictures or videos, but I suspect that those moments, will stay with us forever.

And for me, the best part was when they came back on stage to take a bow, and she saw us, in the audience, and waved at us 🙂 What joy!

What more can a mum ask for?

A Place Called Home

It is funny to think how a once alien place becomes home. All it takes is time and friends.

A few years back when we had first come to the UK, we had felt quite lonely and desolate. After having a wonderful circle of friends and family in Bangalore, London had seemed quite cold( both literally and figuratively). Our lives revolved around work, deadlines, and weekends devoted to housework and sightseeing.

Slowly we made new friends and acquaintances, some at work, some at obscure places like Pizza hut, where we ended up chatting to our next table neighbours, some in our apartment lift. London soon became home for us. The fact that local shopkeepers and even cashiers at the neighbourhood supermarket starts recognizing you. And just as you get comfortable, life has a way of  handing you something new to tackle, and we had to move to Leeds.

The same cycle started all over again.Moving to another new place, making new friends, finding new avenues of having fun, starting afresh. Why am I talking of all this today? From that point where we knew hardly anybody, today, I hardly have a day to myself. Ever since we got back from holiday, my days have been super packed with activities, and Poohi’s school is yet to begin. From an Eid get-together to Ganapati Puja parties, it has been such a busy fulfilling time. Today I invariably run into people I know in the super market, or in the library. It gives one such a feeling of belonging, a feeling of familiarity. Then again, getting to know the cashier at the supermarket might also indicate that I shop way too much there 😉

And when I look back, I am just thankful for everything, for good friends, for the life that we have here, for the knowledge that every place can feel like home. All it takes is a little time, a little effort and some like-minded people – that I have invariably found everywhere I go.

Simple Pleasures..

Sometimes, children are so very easy to please, aren’t they? All that takes to make my daughter happy is a visit to the park , or going for a walk.. or just finding snails in the garden.  Spiders are another matter  – now, that is scary 🙂

Today, we went for a walk in the woods around our house..  Daughter was on the top of world as ‘looking for snails’ , one of the activities that the walk involves is one of her favourite things to do.

As soon as we reached it, she forgot about all about snails when she saw the profusion of lilac flowers all over.. It was breathtaking.. Every plant had some kind of flower and for some reason, there were loads of lilac flowers everywhere.. Last time, it was full of yellow flowers! Weeping Willows forming a beautiful canopy. It was just so amazing.. I wished I had a camera to capture it..

The fresh , unpolluted air, the green plants, the tall, tall trees, and a breezy, breezy day..The joyous shriek when she found horse ‘footprints’  and the disgust at horse ‘poopy’ 🙂 The delight at spotting a cat.. Simple pleasures which we almost forgot in the mundane everyday life..

It was not just daughter who was delighted.. And the small matter that we could find no snails did not affect the pure joy of the moment either..

Edited to add : A pic of a snail from the last time we went ‘snail hunting’ 🙂 We clicked it to Poohi  screaming, ‘Say, cheese, snail!’