Seriously! where did all my holidays go? As much as I am looking forward to an exciting new semester, I can’t help but smile for my last winter holidays. I did’t take any winter classes and so I am joining back after a long gap. This last month was in every way the most emotional, happy and the best since, well …. many years. I had to do a trip to my home country, Pakistan. I grew up in the city of Karachi. Besides all of its faults and difficulties.. it is still my home town. This time I get to take my kids, who are now in their tweens, for my younger brother’s wedding. We had a family reunion and more. I get to visit my childhood home, visit all the aunts and uncles and visit their homes(which are huge part of my childhood) and show my kids, where I grew up. My kids had never been to Pakistan, so this was their first visit. I had visited before, and I always knew what I would be expecting. This time around, I saw things through my children’s eye. It was emotional in many ways. I was happy to see positive changes in my life as I saw my family and my extended family growing and doing much better. The best part of my trip was that I get to meet my school friends… what school friends you ask? Well, the one’s who’m I had been with from pre-school to 10th grade and some even till 12th grade. I met most of them after 21 years. It was amazing and exhilarating to see all of them. Its amazing to see, how we all started together and how we had all evolved, experienced different things in life. Life had changed them in different ways, but the smiles remind the same. The memories we recalled were and how they had evolved are truly a blessing.
I took my kids to my childhood home for few days. I entered my parent’s home.. and there it was. The same kitchen table, the kitchen, the stove with oven .. where I baked my first cake… burned my mom’s best frying pan while cooking, helped my mom made various delicacies. I went straight to my room and my bed. It was dusty, but I lied in it. Both my kids looked at me. I got up.. started opening my side table drawers, my armoire. Some of the stuff I left 15 years ago was still there. Some picture frames, that I had bought, that had pictures of me , by siblings and our childhood. My son, asked me why am I opening stuff, its not ours… and then I said to him, no its all mine, these are all my things”. It felt emotional, to see my parents home and it felt like a time capsule. It also reminded me the time of my struggles and reminded me how hard my parents worked for me to get me where I am now. My brother still lives there.
Visited my aunt’s home, among many other visits to my relatives. It was as huge as I remembered it, but all my aunt’s children had moved outside Pakistan. The oldest son is living there ready to sell the house. It was sad for me. He gave me and my family tour of the whole house from top to bottom. I remember my older cousins brother’s and sisters getting married in that home. The laughter, the smell of food, my aunti cooking in the kitchen. I use to stay there as a 10 year old and then as a teenager. I told everything to my mom, all me and my other kids secret hideouts and favorite sitting place. There use to be a mango tree at the back, which my cousin had to cut down. There were coconut trees, which were still there and a mulberry tree, ever green and ever tall. Here’s a thing, when you grow older, you don’t want to buy any of the stuff available in the beautiful bright markets, you wanna buy all the old homes you grew up in, with all the love.. if only I could!
We did some sight seeing after the wedding and fell in love with the city again! The best part was that I came back, with more humbleness and love in my heart.
The trip made me understand, that no matter how you started, what matters is where you are in life at the moment. Growing up, I never in my wildest dreams imagined my life in United States. Not, just that but I would be attending classes in an American University, with major, that suites me, as a person. I can never be thankful enough for the opportunities I had been provided with and the the one’s that are yet to come.