Friday Fictioneers: Sea Adventures

teds-viewEveryone expected James to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a dentist. Grudgingly, James gave up his dream of joining the Navy, went through Dentistry College instead and graduated with top honors.

He took up a room next to the sea and set up his clinic. Whenever he had the time, he would look out the window and yearn for adventures on the sea. Finally at 40 he had made enough money to retire.

He bought his yacht and began planning his first adventure. After all there was much time to make up.

The Antique Mirror

P1000702My maternal grandfather was posted in Alexandria as a Medical Director in WHO in the 60’s. My grandmother was an avid collector of all things that look beautiful when decorated in the house. Whenever there was an auction, which usually happened when someone was moving away or there was a death, she would go and visit and pick up a few pieces. While she was in Alexandria she picked up an antique mirror. This mirror travelled with her over many other postings until finally when my grandfather retired and settled in Lahore, Pakistan it found a permanent home. My grandmother proudly displayed all the furniture and decorations she had collected over the years and her home held the admiration of the whole family and visitors alike.

But nothing is permanent. When my grandparents died in the late 80’s, after some years the house was sold and the belongings were divided among the three children. My mother especially asked for the mirror even though she knew that she did not have space to put it up in her house. She had planned to give it to her elder daughter for her home. And so the mirror travelled from Lahore to Islamabad.

My sister put up the mirror in her house but her husband was transferred to Lahore and so the mirror made another trip to Lahore where it had spent many cared for years.

When my sister moved to Dubai 4 years ago she took it to her but she found that she had little space for it in her apartment and so she gave it to me.

And I have displayed it proudly for the last 4 years in my dining room. In the next few months this mirror will travel with us to Bahrain for it’s next adventure.


A Proud Mom

Isn’t it just fantastic when children do well and you can witness that as parents?

My son had his school concert today. He’s only 4 1/2 and is just finishing nursery. He’s been practising the songs for the concert for many weeks and I knew he would do well because he had sung many of them for me perfectly with actions.

Little did I know that my little baby was in fact the star of the show (along with a girl of his class). Not only was he performing songs with the other children, he was also delivering individual lines throughout the performance. There were about 40 people watching the show and he did not flinch for a second.

I was sitting in the front row and was almost falling out of my little chair with happiness. I always knew that he could perform very well because he’s always doing his own “shows” at home but I didn’t know he could memorize actual lines and deliver in front of an audience. I was also a bit worried that he might be tempted to change the words of the songs. But he didn’t let anyone down.

This is what motherhood is all about. To see your children grow and reach their highest potentials. I actually felt nervous as if it was my own performance. (And Lord knows I can’t perform in front of an audience.) I can now understand why my father used to call up our relatives and tell them that one of us or the other had stood first in his/her class. I did exactly the same. As soon as I came home I called up my mother and my mother-in-law to tell them of their grandson’s achievement. This feeling cannot even match what I felt at my own achievements.

Yes, this is what motherhood is all about.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reinventing a Room

When we bought our own house in Islamabad, it was tiny but just perfect for us. The previous owners had been using this space just as a landing connecting with the bedroom and the dining area. But we needed a place to make into our TV lounge. So I boarded up the stairs with fibre glass to make a wall and ensure privacy and I used the area under the stairs to make a storage place on top of which I placed my decorations and lamps. I ordered an L-shaped sofa to fit into the small space we had and it was a perfect “room” for a couple to watch TV and relax.
G-10 House - Lounge (2009.10.26)

My childhood years

If you could zoom through space (and time) in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

I open my eyes and I’m standing outside a very familiar gate which opens up into a long driveway. As I walk towards the house I see a beautiful garden on my left with a bed of purple orchids and a row of guava trees. I used to ride my cycle here, up and down the driveway, then around the tiled porch through the garden and round again. The driveway extended all the way to the garage at the back which was next to another smaller garden and porch. As if this space was not enough I would make my mother stand at the gate while I cycled up and down the street. Oh what fun it was to feel the wind in my face as I peddled with all my might.

This was the time when it was safe for children to play in the street. When my mother and I would go for walks to the Japanese park nearby and there were just a few cars on the road. When there were no suicide bombers and no senseless killings. At least we didn’t have so many channels to hear the breaking news all the time. News would be broadcast only at 9pm.

There were no mobile phones, no cable TV and no iPads, yet we never got bored. We were friends with all the children in the neighborhood and nobody cared which religion anyone belonged to. We studied in a convent because it was the best primary school around.

I am now thousands of miles away from this place where I spent my childhood. So much has changed over the years. I wish I could go back to this time and space and experience the carefree abandon again.