A Bouquet of Fragrant Memory:  Familiar Land and Beloved Faces (Part-1)

Life is magical. What happens in one day of our life is more magical than any fantasy movie.

Today is Saturday, a day to relax and enjoy. Emma sits on the maple porch swing in her backyard with her favorite cup of hot tea, flavored with ginger, cardamom and a dash of honey. The clean, crisp and cold air brushes across her face like a veil, sweet and delightful. She looks around and notices the magnificent lines of frost that stretch across the tree branches and the wooden porch. The silvery dew drops on the grass dazzle brightly under the sun light. It reminds her of the beautiful winter garden in her parents’ house and then her thoughts began to wander, trailing through lots of familiar places, familiar people and beautiful memories. She has been trying to travel and visit her family back in India, but it has not been that easy to take one month off for a vacation from the grueling demands of her job. It must be the force behind the law of attraction that draws us to our family and friends, Emma thinks to herself. Slowly she strolls back into the kitchen, and puts the tea cup down in the kitchen sink. She tucks a stray piece of her hair behind her ears and looks at the calendar on the kitchen wall to check the upcoming holidays. “O yes”, she says, “Thanksgiving is coming, this will be the perfect time to take a vacation!” Joy flashes into her heart. Emma breathlessly flies to the living room to talk to her husband and daughter, with winged steps.

It must have been that Emma’s desire to see her family and friends was so heartfelt that it was gratified. Or it was the force of love that moved every circumstance for her to travel so far on such a short notice.

After a lengthy discussion about visiting India on short notice, Emma’s family finally decided to take a vacation for two weeks, before Thanksgiving. The tickets were booked through Qatar Airlines. Despite being unable to make a trip for the family work for the last 20 years, somehow, the magical support of the world around them made this trip possible. Everything clicked perfectly. Emma was thrilled that her daughter, who had just graduated from the law school and passed the bar with flying colors, was able to take part in this adventure.

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Soon the day had arrived. Emma’s smiled as they boarded the plane. She decides to sit on the middle seat between her husband and daughter. The comfortable seats with pretty red seat covers are equipped with tiny TV to make the trip more enjoyable.  Emma appreciated the courteous, friendly, and attentive services of the air hostess. She even enjoyed the delicious foods, drinks and snacks which were served in the flight. Then Emma noticed that every two hours the air hostess came with snacks and drinks- which was fine at the beginning-but then came an unbearable feeling of suffocation from eating so much food. Emma was sure that most of passengers at that particular time wished for a long walk, or a run on the tread mill or to attend a body combat class.  It is total seventeen hours from Houston to New Delhi. After a long five hours, Emma got bored. She stretched her arms above her head, stared at the ceiling, and then looked around to see if the other passengers were having the same reaction. She noticed that most of them were busy in staring at the TV screen or sleeping. Emma turned her head slightly to see that her husband was enjoying some documentary with a smile and her daughter was busy watching the Harry Potter movie. But Emma feels the complicated hybrid emotions in her mind. It is hard for her to sit still. It feels like she could throw off sparks, which will shoot out in all directions like the colored arrows from a July 4th rocket.  Then she pretends to be settled and flips through the pages of a glossy magazine, and even tries to watch the Discovery channel on the tiny TV monitor. But Emma’s mind was like a butterfly. It fluttered with the excitement of going back to her country after such a long time and meeting her dear ones. It was almost time to land in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Emma unbuckled the seat belt gently and walked across the floor to the restroom with her swollen feet. After standing in a line for ten minutes, the small bathroom door opens and the lady with her baby walks out with a tight smile. Emma smiles back and goes in, locks the door from inside. She adjusts her wavy hair in front of the huge mirror, glides the light pink gloss on her lip, stretches her arms, and then goes back to her seat.

Doha’s Hamad International Airport is quite impressive with stunning architectural masterpieces, coffee shops and duty free shops. As soon as Emma walks in to the airport with her family she asks her daughter to join her for a tour of the airport. “Sure mom, I will be happy to walk with you”, replies her daughter with excitement.  Emma’s husband wanted to stay in the Oryx lounge so both mother and daughter walked around, stretched their legs, tried some good Arabic coffee, and visited the various duty free shops.  Emma with her family enjoyed the stopover of two hours in the airport which was very relaxing after a long flight. From Doha, Emma and her family boarded the next flight to India.

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The flight from Doha to India is close to four hours. Emma was quivering with excitement to meet her dear ones after a long time.  The wonderful pictures of her mother land floats in her mind. A wide grin beamed across her oval face as she started to imagine the surprise on all the faces with raised eyebrows, twinkle eyes, then the questions and at the end the wonderful hug and smiles. Emma was as happy as a lark and on cloud nine. As they approached India, Emma leaned towards the window to get a glance of the city that she left for such a long time.

Emma and her family, after the final immigration check, gathered their luggage and walked out with high spirits, blanketed with happiness, twinkling eyes, and big smiles to meet the family outside of the airport. The air may not be fresh and clean, but it was heavenly for Emma- the air of her Motherland. As they were driving on the road the traffic suddenly seemed overwhelming, the insanity of the cows, trucks, scooters and pedestrians all squeezing into one lane. Emma had completely forgotten how the cows and goats are actually the bosses of the roads. They can go anywhere they want and even relax on the middle of the road for a quick nap. Emma’s daughter noticed that honking doesn’t move the animals, and the driver has to walk out from the car to shoo the animals from the road. Emma and her family quickly buckled their seat belts. In seconds the driver’s total disregard for traffic lanes became clear. Emma’s husband noticed how the driver switched into oncoming traffic on a two-lane road, then stayed in the lane with traffic barreling towards them, until the car or the truck heading right for their car was close enough to read the driver’s  fine lines on his face or time on his wrist watch. Then the driver calmly moved the car back into the lane as if nothing had happened. It was like an action movie drive. Then the continuous and unnecessary honking will make one crazy with headaches. The pedestrians happily walk right in-front of any vehicle without hesitation. “Really! This type of insane driving! It will be a road rage in America”, Emma thinks to herself. Emma’s daughter was laughing with surprise but at the same time busy taking pictures of the mad traffic to post on Facebook.

Next part of my travel will be posted soon.

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Lekhamisra

Lekhamisra

Hello and Namaste to my wonderful bloggers and readers. I am Lekha, grew up in one of the beautiful city of Odisha in the mystical land India. My paternal grandmother was a perfect story teller- stories of brave kings and queens to stories of freedom fighters, to stories on kindness,honesty, compassion, truthfulness. As soon as I learned to read, my marvelous adventures started through the fairy tales, the mysteries, the classics and the autobiographies. O’ Yes, it was lots of fun! At middle school my imagination started to take wings into short stories and sometimes in sketching. In 1987 I came to USA to continue my education in Psychology. Life got busy with my son and daughter in their school,library, music class, dance class, tennis, soccer, scout, debate...Staying active is very important for me.So after work, I enjoy going to different classes - kickboxing, RIPP, PiYo and Yoga. I have a deep affection and respect to Nature. For me winter is the champion. During winter vacation it is always delightful to hike on the gorgeous,stunning and beautiful snowy mountains in different national parks. After the children started their own lives, enormous time has poured into my weekends. I decide to do devout my time in volunteering. But still I could not satisfy my hunger and craving to do something more. One evening, I was reading some article on international issues on children, women,and on animal cruelty, which were very disturbing, traumatic and sad.I could not stop my tear or could not sleep. It is very hard to see others in suffering. Life is more fulfilling and rich when you help others, when you bring smile on others. “ Be a rainbow in someone else’s clouds.”- Maya Angelou. So I start to write again. I want my writing to be a strong voice for others in distress; for the innocent animals,for children, for women, on global warming and for all other social causes. Sometimes the truth is hard to digest but I am determined to reflect on those topics to make my readers aware on social issues. And I am thankful to WordPress for providing this wonderful platform to express my observation, views and dreams. I hope you explore the stories,enjoy and leave appropriate comments.

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