What will I miss?

I am relieved of my official duties, we have shipped our things, we made our one last final day trip within the UK to a place I wanted to always visit (more on that later in the day trip post on the other blog), we have given away all the things that might be of some use to others, found my plants a new home with my friends, etc. etc. There are a few last-minute bits and pieces left to do until the next weekend when we finally board the plane. But there is one question that a few asked me for which I am trying here to find an answer. What will you miss when you go back to India?

Honestly? I don’t know. Materially I don’t think I would miss anything. Life has taught me (without being too maudlin) that it is easy to replace the material things if you have some savings left with you and you might even come to know if you absolutely needed those things in your life or not. And with the globalisation of things, we can get a lot of stuff that we get here in the UK back in India too (although I should say I remember seeing more American stuff than British stuff… times might have changed…who knows…I will update you if I do see a change 🙂 ) Jokingly, I would say I would miss the concept of a bath. Just soaking in that hot water until I turn into a prune is just heavenly during the winter. I can never have that in my place. Half of the time we have water shortages, especially in the summer. What about English Breakfast? I might have to travel to Bangalore to get one but definitely not in Coimbatore 😀

What did I miss when I moved to the UK? I am sure some folks asked me the same question when I was about to leave India. After living here for 5 years, what did I miss? Did I miss the dosa and paratha or the temples or my travel fridge magnets (100’s of them) that I had collected over the years which are now stored in a locked room? Honestly? No. What then? People in my circle, my very small circle. This circle consists of my close friends and immediate family. Thanks to WhatsApp, Skype, GatherTown, Zoom etc., the distance between them and me seems to be that bit smaller.

Having been here in the UK only for 5 years, my circle is much smaller than the one in India 😀 and since the sudden change of work, place, country etc, is gonna hit me hard next month, I guess I will miss them sharply given the way we have been together. So here is a shout out to those few poor souls who happen to be in my circle and for whose presence I am forever grateful because they made my life a bit more colourful here. (Only pseudonyms in my blog sadly… but I hope you can spot yourself in this post 😀 )

When I moved from software engineering to teaching I didn’t have much help and was floundering to find a way (thanks to some online courses and books) but Mr Millwall came to my rescue with his 30+ years of teaching experience. He just took me under his wing and taught me the ropes of education and became my very close friend. He is also the first to call me if there is some interesting news in the cricket world 🙂 I am glad he is enjoying his retirement and is doing well. Hopefully, he will learn how to call via WhatsApp soon so that I can connect with him.

The tall Croatian teaching assistant has been there to give me an extra hand whenever I needed one and kept me sane. We didn’t have anything in common and in spite o that we bonded very well. Being much more experienced than me both at work and in life, she was a good sounding board and we started hanging out of work too, sharing bus rides and life stories and eventually became friends. I am glad that I could get her a churidar from India last time I was there and she looked absolutely gorgeous in it.

Ms Iskcon was Mr M’s friend but she is now a family friend, thanks to our heritage and shared native language. We used to spend our Christmas Eve at her place playing board games and puzzles with her family, which gave us the feeling of being a part of a big loud, amazing, and chaotic family from now and then. She used to come to our place for the Sunday lunch (she had a knack for calling us exactly at lunchtime and would be invited inevitably 😀 It helped that she lived only a floor below us.) Any time we talk, we end up discussing and debating everything under the sun. I will cherish her ability to discuss anything and everything (spiritual, political, socio-economic, you name it). I sincerely hope that she can visit us in India.

Now comes the group in Swansea 🙂 Who knew that a kick (literally) would start a friendship. I keep telling Mr Half-Trousers that in terms of his age he is closer to my nephew than to me but that has only made the friendship more fun. He has tried to teach me frisbee (emphasis on the word tried…). He has also fed me so much baked stuff it feels like he was fulfilling some debt he owed from his previous life 😀 His sticky toffee pudding is one thing I will never be able to replace. I wish he keeps up with his star baker abilities in spite of his busy software engineering lifestyle, which he has taken up now. He has also been my yoga student for the past 6 months helping me in my journey.

Mr Tall and Grumpy (I can say this and get away with it because he knows he is, lol) was that person whom I thought would the quiet and studious one but turned out that he is all that and also the naughtiest. Both him and Mr Half-Trousers have been the reason I am known in my team for throwing squishy toys at people. They drove me nuts with their antics 😀 but he was also my partner in crime at work. We taught together quite a lot and that gave us a lot to share in terms of knowledge and experience. I am very glad he is having a stint at the industry now and I will miss seeing his daughter grow (hopefully he will keep me posted on that and would take a trip to India and go on a good food tour).

Mr Badmintennis is one of a kind. An old soul trapped in a very young body. He amazes me with his knowledge of all things old and historic. I should call him Mr Minecraft or Mr Gamemaker because he is very well known for that but more than that he is/was my badminton/tennis partner. We have been playing the game for a while now and I hope he continues to play it with the rest of the group. I am sure I will engage his expertise in my new job when I have to do something in Minecraft or even take us on a virtual tour of computers.

Ms OrganizedArtist joined us during the first lockdown and so there has been a delay in getting to know her but my god, she is talented. I am always happy to be associated with very artistic friends like her and Anita. They bring a lot of colour in my life 🙂 She is the second person in my life (after my friend in Bangalore) with whom I haven’t felt any reservations whatsoever, while being before their camera and knowing that they are taking my photograph. She is yet to perfect her art of hitting Mr Badmintennis on his head during the tennis/badminton games but I am sure she will get there with a little bit more practice 😉 (make sure you let me know when that happens, girl!) She did a painting of my portrait which is available on my Instagram and I am very thankful for that. It is definitely getting framed. I am sure she will definitely make her way to South India and I will get to visit her home country (Ukraine) soon.

There are a couple more people I know and are part of that small circle but this is my group whom I would like to keep in touch with no matter where I go and what I do (assuming that they feel the same 😀 ) I am again hoping that the various communication channels that helped me keep in touch with my group in India while I was in the UK would help me do the same with this lot. This is also my way of conveying my thanks to them for being part of my journey and saying a proper goodbye I guess, even though we did say our goodbyes by doing a South Indian food tour and what a day it was 🙂 So much fun.

Diolch yn fawr for everything and hopefully we will get to meet again sooner rather than later.

WPC: Circle

I am going to go with one single photograph for this week’s photography challenge , Circle. This photograph was taken during our drive to Half Moon Bay, California. I like how it looked so geometrically correct to be a circle. Dont you think so ?1-IMG_8185.JPG.

SoCS: Thoughts on Shape(s)

As soon as I read the prompt, the first question that popped up in my head was the one I read in Quora: What if earth were a cube or something like that. Let me check my emails and get the link…….OK. The actual question was ‘What if earth were a cube instead of a sphere‘. I guess we would have thought about the shape of the earth at least once to ask why it is so. I was happy to see the question and the answer, because I am sure my nieces/nephew are bound to ask this sometime and I will have some answer ready (hopefully they will ask when they are able to understand more about shapes). I also remember some teacher telling me once that since the shape of the earth is spherical in nature, we would do well to think of thoughts which are more positive in nature, because they are bound to come back to us. Start and end points in a circle or a sphere are the same, remember. Well, she achieved her purpose. Every time I think of something not nice or negative, mostly due to anger, I immediately remember this and calm down. While talking about shapes, I do have a question. In one of the books I got my niece (pre-school reading books) I remember seeing ‘heart’ defined as a shape. I don’t remember ever learning ‘that’. Was ‘heart’, you know the symbol ❤ always defined as a geometrical shape ? Or was it included in that list later (i.e. after my college times)?   

Post for this week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “shape.” Use it as a noun or a verb, put the word in your post or simply use it as your theme – whatever comes off the top of your head!

SoCS Badge by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

“This is the end of the world”

Categorized :  “random thoughts and probably incoherent” 

I saw a line in the book I am currently reading “‘This is the end of the world’, it seemed to say”. It sparked a thought. Not the 2012 movie kind of end of the world where everything is destroyed and only a few people get to live to create another new world. No, no, not that. This is the the line which says this is where the path ends. Do we really have a point or a line which screams ‘this is the line which marks the end of this world?’. Probably not, because well, ours is a circle. And a circle has no ends. There is a quote also saying that ‘A circle is the reflection of eternity, with no beginning and no end ….’ something like that. But that is going a little too philosophical to my current stream of thoughts. So let me not go there now. Where was I ? Oh yeah. So, no, we physically don’t have an marking line. We might say that this is where this city ends, and the next city starts. This is where this continent ends and this continent starts. Do we have those for the water too ? I think we have right ? Some are international waters and some are national. Need to check out how they do that.

But those are not the ends. They are just the boundaries. A boundary is not an end. It signifies a limit isn’t. Boundaries have been stretched all through the history have they not ? That is why we have wars still going on. To merge, to split. But if we take our world as such, we are again a part of a bigger world isn’t. A part of a system called Milky way galaxy. We just have a hard boundary. We cannot grow or stretch than what we are right now, but still it isn’t the end isn’t. Or is it ? They thought that the milky way itself was a huge thing and then they discovered that there are other galaxies floating (?) around. This reminds me of an article that my friend pinged me recently. It was about something called Supercluster. Hey, I have heard that before. We know of it in computing terms of a database that has super-cluster configuration. But this wasn’t that. This was about the cluster of galaxies. When I read about it, you know what I felt. I felt depressed, even if a little. Because in the large (and it gets even larger after that article) scheme of things. I am not even a speck of dust, for gods sake. What am I really doing then ? The more we look outward the more the vastness of the things makes us look very tiny and small. Is that why people keep looking inwards ? into themselves ? Because at least understanding themselves now seems a little much easier than the outer vastness which brings up new mysteries every time ? And why does all these end up being circular or elliptical. Oh my! Did I go back to the quote and prove that a circle is indeed a reflection of eternity ?