-Brought by valuing relationships with our land and loved ones.
It rained yesterday. We put off the air conditioner, opened the windows to let in the wind and the sound of pouring rain into the lounge. Yes, a typical downpour of Islamabad. The curtains moved with the wind. Irresistibly, Nataliya was drawn close to the window as she eagerly breathed in the rising fragrance of earth mixed with splashing rain in the raging downpour outside.
“This is the smell that I’ve craved for!” She said with an expression of ecstasy.
I looked at her face. Yes. So many of us miss these ‘little’ things about our country…
How many of us put ourselves out for coming all the way to be here to smell it? This overpowering fragrance – I know you would say “there are so many germs in it!” You will add, “Don’t open the windows!” The flies and pests will come into the home, and what not.
Yet, also true is the reality of so many memories that flood in with this fragrance. All of us, running out into the rain while splashing feet in the puddles. Circling round and round in the garden arms outstretched in the pouring rain. Face raised up to let the rain pour all over it. Having clothes sopping wet, hair plastered, loving every moment of it. (Stop thinking of those Hindi films, real life is not that pretty, but feels as great.)
Sharing of these beautiful fragrances, emotions, feelings and letting them pour into one’s mind and life – even if it is just for a few moments – is worth the price of tickets, time, cash and hassles of travel to be in one’s own homeland. Of course, there is so much more….
It’s the merging of the pouring emotions (like the rain) with the self (land ).
While talking to my mentor, Mahjabeen she said. “People usually like other people’s mothers more – because they seem so flawless. But it is wiser to love one’s own mother with all her faults.” She added, “- one’s country too is like one’s own mother.”
Isn’t that why we call it motherland?
The fact remains, that the whole world belongs to all human beings. We all need to find our own little niche. No matter where we live, we need to give time to that part of us which is still alive. Those parts within us which hanker for lost memories of people and places. Because they are still a part of that self which has moved away, …. the happy childhood, the happy relationships we have had, the happy memories we share with our loved ones. Where our hearts beat stronger and we feel more alive.
Thank you, Nataliya for coming every year.
Thank you Bilal, for honoring the pledge you made to your wife, when you two got married eleven years ago. I know, many men just ignore their pledges to their wives.
Here are a few of the crazy and wonderful times we had this time…
It was a proper gathering with loving moments spent with all loved ones. I held a Hi-tea for family members and friends.
Then we all went to a new place called ‘We Play’. I just couldn’t resist trying out the challenging rope trip high up in that hall. 😉
Then Matt Vauguan brought his book Sacred Land, which I just loved. You can get it directly from him or Mr. Books in Islamabad now. You can check him out at Facebook also. I was thrilled when he wrote these sweet words while gifting me the book. Of course it was just the right book for my girl, who eagerly bought a copy too. It is a beautifully written book published by Mr.Books this year. Do get a copy for yourself and to gift to your loved ones. It is charmingly written and would be a wonderful addition to your home library.
I’m also busy trying to work on my book launch. So, in between those busy days, I found myself waiting an hour and a half in an office. Thank God the views were great.
I finally didn’t meet the person in charge. He was too busy in an unexpected meeting with a minister. Later, he apologized but my precious hour was wasted.
Why don’t we respect other people’s time????
I even managed to slip in a couple of hours to help my student complete a painting that she was busy with. My favorite flower the pink magnolia. I’m thrilled with her work.
Haroons would pop in or we would go over for scrumptuous meals, and they took the family all over Islamabad, to make them enjoy the wonderful setting of the awesome Faisel Mosque, and other spots. (One day, I’ll take you along too.)
So, just stay blessed wherever you are and please do make the effort and take the time and money out to meet your loved ones – no matter how far they live.
Meanwhile, keep that smile on your face. We all are truly blessed to have such wonderful relationships in our lives, so we need to nurture them too.