I have the best parents ever. I know that’s something you say as a five year old trying insult your schoolmates at play time – but seriously my parents are amazing. There are many reasons why but because my attention span isn’t large enough to fit them all into one blog and also because I don’t want you to feel too devastated that you don’t have my parents, I will focus on just one. Ever since I was a little kiddo my parents always liked to go on trips and see different places. It didn’t matter if we were on holiday and sightseeing or en route to a work convention, they always made it a point to see the places that were around us. In the 20 years of my life I have had the opportunity to see more than 10 countries and over 100 different places. I can’t even think of anything else I’ve done 100-times, that too all in the company of Mumma and Pappa A.
Seeing so many places, experiencing so many cultures and eating so many varieties of food (that’s why I was a chubster) opens your eyes so much it’s crazy. You get to observe the similarities and differences that persist past geographical boarders. You get to meet and interact with people who are worlds apart from you both in distance and culture. You learn to connect as people and it is heart warming how friendly people can be. Pappa A is the master of making friends where ever he goes – in Dubai he became best friends with the porter who was subsequently devastated when we had to leave, he made a mate in a road side shop owner in northern Karnataka and in Eqypt our driver was a fan because father could speak some Arabic. Going to so many places also means we get to create countless memories together – we often fondly look back on the time when Pappa A and I lost our glasses to tactful monkeys or the holiday when Mumma A walked hand-in-hand with a monkey thinking it was mini-Nimmy or better yet the time Mumma and Pappa left behind mini-Nimmy on a busy Delhi Metro platform (one kid – c’mon guys you have one kid!). It’s experiences like these that tether us together and have allowed me to have my best friends as my parents. These memories are more valuable than any number of iphones or laptops – I would not trade them for the world. Aside from meeting people and creating memories, going to places that are different to the place you call home gives you a reality check. Going out reminds you that the world is so much larger than the town and suburb you live in. It is so easy to put blinkers on and go about your daily routine but once you see the many forms life takes, you realise there is so much more to the world. It sounds very cheesy, but when the realisation hits you it is both refreshing and terrifying.
Going to places like India also reminds me of who I am; this is something that is easily diluted if I do not take care to preserve it. I love experiencing my Indian heritage, Hindu culture, traditional foods and mother tongue – in fact because we come back so often, it is comforting to be able to slot into our family’s life without feeling like we live thousands of kilometres away for 11 months of the year. Creating memories with cousins and constantly being in each others lives means Mumma and Pappa A have allowed me to create lifelong bonds that I will cherish now and into old age. I have friends who haven’t seen their family in India for over 10 – 15 years; when they come back home they feel so out of place it is sad to see that they have lost so much of their heritage. It is a large commitment to come to India every year, but the relationships that I have had the opportunity to create are absolutely priceless. It is one of the best things my parents have done for me and I hope to be able to give my kids the same (cheesy nimmy strikes again!). So thankyou mum and dad, thankyou thankyou THANKYOU!
So there you go, reason “uno” for why Mumma and Pappa A rock. There are like 100 others but my attention span has reached its limit so they will have be covered in another post (I don’t want their heads to get too big). Also if I promise to write another blog about them, maybe they’ll remember me on the Delhi Metro next time!