We are here, in Sheffield, in my Bua and Phuphaji's house. And I'm so happy.
You slept so peacefully in my lap as we drove from Manchester to Sheffield last night. How our plane took off with the group of very drunk men refusing to put on their seat belts, I don't know. But I sure was glad it did : )
Our sweet taxi driver drove with immense dexterity, especially on Snake Road. Man, I felt like I was in a Sherlock Holmes book, set on winding roads, between tall trees, and with mist hugging the hills we rode on.
Coming back to a home I visited with Daddo and Didi two summers, the last being 13 years ago, was surreal. So much is the same and much different. Some streets look the same, some shops different. Some rooms smell the same sweet smell, some rooms look different. Seren and Kai are now a part of making memories in this home, Daddo is no more.
I showed you the basketball hoop outside in the back yard where I learned to run to a lay-up and where I grew to the height I am today. I remember the floor I sat on and told my parents I wanted to study humanities instead of science. I remember sitting in the corner in Sammy Bhaiya's room floor and listening to my new Eminem cd and being so proud of my well spent pocket money. I remember the computer from where I typed curt and bizarre messages to Payal and told her I planned to sit by myself in class 11, and from where I wrote posts on a forum where I met you.
It's so wonderful and special being with family. Our family. Eating masala dosas and walking with Seren through the Kelham museum to learn more about Sheffield's past was a wonderful thing to do today. I loved the sweet cafe we are lunch at today. I loved the sounds of Bua, Seren, and us oohing and aahing at the freshness of the food and yay for tap water!
I love being in a place that brings back loving and happy memories. I miss Didi, and all the walks we took to go to the shops and how sweetly and judicially we (actually just she) would spend her money, while I blew it all up on one pair of Skechers. I still giggle at eating all the mangoes Phuphaji bought from a Pakistani store and Didi telling me they would send us back home of I ate more mangoes. So I ate a whole bag of Doritos instead ; )
And I miss Daddo. We're sleeping in the same room she used to sleep in and I miss her.
Everything was so novel and exciting when I came here first as a 13 year old and then as a 15 year old. The highways, fast speeds, accents, carpeted floors, alarms in your house, fast cars, quarter pounder Burger King delight (my 8.5 year old vegetarian tummy would protest that now, but man, 13 years ago, that was pure happiness ;), washing machines, and more. And life in India has changed significantly and I have lived in the US for a number of years, so some of these things and experiences may not seen new, but they still hold a special place in my heart. Yes, even the memory of devouring hunks of meat.
I'm grateful that I can come back here and relive some and create some new memories.
Thank you for being here with me and walking down memory avenue with me.