A moment in day

I love looking at pictures again and again – they freeze a moment in time and when I look at the picture that moment becomes alive in my memory again. My mother and my mother-in-law both are the keepers of family photographs. My mom even had a system figured out . The big family album only had choicest of pictures in it – pictures from school functions, sports or academic achievements, times when we kids were behaving at our best…… and there was one shoe box full of all other photographs and very few people ever got to see it.That was the problem with clicking the pictures with film that we had to be very choosy about the pictures we clicked and we had to wait till the roll was over and developed. Our first order of business while visiting our cousins was to check out the new additions to family albums.

Digital photography and Social media has changed all that. Pictures are clicked and immediately available for review, only the good ones are posted online – sometimes with one line captions and sometimes with some faces tagged in them. There is no cousin explaining the story behind the picture, No mother bringing out the album specially for you, no shoe box full of funny moments. Those pictures are available online – not shared with someone specific. You can guess I am getting a bit nostalgic. I miss the whole idea of capturing and looking at photographs as a collective activity. I still love sharing photographs with friends and family and If you seem interested I will go ahead and tell you the whole story.

When my daughter was born, I determined to click at least one photo each day, to track her growth and capture her emotions & expressions. I haven’t checked but I am sure I must have clicked 10 times as many pictures. I realized I haven’t been clicking as many pictures of late so I today started my day with clicking a picture of hers.

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The natural light in the room was enough to capture her expression. Then I decided to take my camera outside and capture the first few signs of spring. For some reason this spring has really captivated my heart.

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Some crocaus have sprung up and some have blooms too.

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Some leaves have started to bud on the trees and vines outside.

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Life anew and life again is springing
Bees n birds are all ’round me singing
Tiny bud is gently raising its tiny tiny head

Somedays ago it was so lifeless
My little garden stuck in stillness
dead of winter all appeared really really dead

I took a stroll in old memory grove
games we played & dreams we wove
My today was shaped by my yesterday

Spring-winter-spring life goes around
Under the sun and over the ground
Life’s little truths are revealed everyday

A tree grows big from a tiny seed
Life grows big with each tiny deed
Maker’s finger prints are seen all around

Look the Old is in the new revealed
See the New is in the old concealed
Take a closer look and truth can be found

Phir Milenge!!

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About Mother and Motherland

Actually this post should have been titled “About Mother-in-law and ….” But I could not find an in-law equivalent of motherland. So I let this title stand.

An old Sanskrit quote says,”  Janani janmabhoomishcha Swargad api gariyasi”, Meaning Mother and Motherland are more desired than even heavens. It is true to some extent. We are related to both by birth, we didn’t choose them and loving them is ingrained into us .

But some thing has to be said of love of the relationships that we develop later in life.

Like your Mother-in-law and the land you immigrate to ……

You may have heard some newly wed say ‘well, this is not how it was done in our home’ or ‘that’s not how my mother used to do it’ at some point in your life. It’s only human to compare our new experience with the old and familiar. Sometime it’s because we miss the old and sometimes because we are simply scared of the change. On my first visit as a new bride to my husband’s native place Tamilnadu ( a state in south of India) I was overwhelmed by the difference in customs, cuisine, language and even dressing from where I grew up ( new Delhi – in north of India). In her wisdom my mother-in-law asked me to cook whatever I liked and put my mind to ease. Sometimes big changes are like that. Everything is so different that if you can do one thing in an old familiar way you feel at ease again. Thereafter it becomes smooth sailing. Like my relationship with my mother-in-law. I learnt a lot from her about south-Indian cooking, their customs and traditions. I was willing to learn and adapt and the learning process laid the foundation for the loving relation that we share now.

My story of Immigration has been as easy as the integration in to my husband’s family. We were met by nice people and found employment soon after. What really put our mind at ease was meeting people who were open-minded, gave us space and time to adjust and also shared with us the knowledge and experience that they had. Like my Friend Gerardo in Dubai who introduced me to “Nasi-goreng’ – fried rice Indonesian style and Ethiopian cuisine……… or my friend Mike who loves skate boarding and skiing and accompanied us on our first ever ski attempt or my neighbor K who shared her love for gardening and her tomato harvest with us over the last few years. We met people who helped us in some big and small situations and gave us a semblance of belonging.

Sometimes big changes are like that…. It is not easy. Sometimes it is challenging and drives us up the wall and it breaks us too. But if you keep an open mind then it can rebuild and reshape you. Then suddenly one day you would realize that the new has become old and ingrained in us. The love we were not born with has grown and captivated our hearts.

How has your immigration experience been?

Phir Milenge!!