We had a very interesting lecture on Tuesday by a certain Margaret Thomas of AWARE - the Association of Women for Action & Research. She showed us an inspirational Youtube video called the Singapore Women's Hall of Fame which chronicles how the Singapore women have progressed sine 1819. Shown at an appropriate time since its the International Women's Day today. You can find the link here :
It got me thinking what have I done in my last 45 years? Shouldn't we women look out for one another and make a difference in the lives of others, no matter how small? Something to seriously think about. While the thought process is taking place, I took my first step. I joined AWARE as a member and volunteer the next day itself. I wanted to start somewhere and being a volunteer at the leading supporter in Singapore for women's rights seemed right. Now, its your turn.
I'm now a docent trainee for National Museum of Singapore (NMS), if I haven't said enough. It will all come to an end on the 27th March 2018. Yes, it is just around the corner. I'm trying not to think too much about it. Why ? Well, let me see...
I will miss the 9am sharp, 2min WOW presentations of the artefact of the week which I had to research and memorise over the weekend. I will miss learning even more about that artefact from my group leader or GL Linka Lokker while the sun streams through the beautiful colonial windows of the 1887 National Museum building along Stamford Rd. Oh yes, did I mention that it was built in 1887??
Then, when the presentations are over, we'll walk up to the 3rd level where we'll get to listen to interesting insightful lectures every Tuesday. I will miss learning so much of Singapore's history from these renowned speakers and historians. The most recent being Margaret Thomas of AWARE who showed what women in Singapore have achieved since 1819. An eye-opener.
I'll miss the 11am tea break where we mingle with fellow docent trainees and trainers over tea and finger food. I have learnt so many new recipes in the last 6 months, some of which I have posted in my other page of recipes. We'll bicker about the amount of work we have - the research, the writing, the presentations while we are all actually pleased with ourselves and our achievements.
At 12, I'll miss listening, during our various gallery walkthroughs, to experienced docents who give us in depth knowledge of the galleries and we learn from them what to do and what not to do during our guiding.
I'll miss the Thursday field trips where we have visited so many historic places in Singapore all with guides. Some of the places include Bukit Brown Cemetary, the Supreme Court, URA, China Town, Changi Prison Chapel & Museum etc. These were not compulsory but not many of us miss them! I wouldn't have thought twice about visiting these places if not for this training.
I'll miss the shadow touring where we have to shadow an actual tour by an experienced guide at the National Museum. We choose the date and time and observe how an actual guiding is done. Sometimes we shadow student tours to observe how to guide the students who can be quite difficult to handle.
Mostly, I will miss the many friends I have made over the last 6 months, fellow Singaporean Christine with her quirky but stylish dressing and owner of 5 cats and a vegan, the ever smiling renowned artist Nidhi, the ardent supporter of local transport and culture American Urvashi, the very experienced, calm, nothing-can-shake-me docent from the Indian Heritage Centre Jyoti(IHC), my fellow groupmates French Angelica and Swiss Irina, fellow Singaporean with a British accent Jane, the cute always asking questions Belgian Gaelle, our official photographer Michelle Lim, another experienced docent from IHC-Durga, the matured but Super friendly Mariet, sweet Ewa, the very first docent trainee I chatted with on Sep 14th 2017 Belgian Ini, mysterious Renia, the beautiful Dutch swan Michelle, British Carey who gave so many tips before my visit to London last year, the American Carrie who gave me a yet to try pumpkin muffin recipe and our co heads Karen Houtman and Diana Loo who have done such a great job heading this batch of trainees, our field trip coordinators Choy May and Chwee Peng, our speaker coordinators Anne and Lara... the many group leaders (or GLs ) my very own fantastic group leader Dutch Linka Lokker, Mieke, Colombe, Estelle,Antje, Tessa, Jo and so many more...
It struck me yesterday that when we are just getting closer and getting to know each other better, we are going to go our separate ways. Isn’t it cruel, the way life sometimes plays such cruel tricks on us? These last 6 months will just become memories years from now. That is really sad.
See, now you know what I mean when I said earlier that I don't want to think too much about the fact that my docent training at NMS is coming to an end. Like all good things (and hopefully bad things too), it must come to an end one day, I guess. But, I'll enjoy the next few weeks while it lasts and hopefully we still do keep in touch after our training.
I went back to watch it again on Sunday with my younger 13 year old daughter Riya who loved the movie as well. She went back again yesterday Monday on her own to watch it for the 3rd time. It’s her first time watching a movie alone by herself. She said ‘ It wasn’t a problem Mama, I actually enjoyed watching by myself except for that odd guy next to me who was nodding his head throughout the movie !’ Well done my honeybun :) Mama is so proud of you. Learning to enjoy your own company will always come in handy in the future. But do be kind because the guy could have just been enjoying the music and probably nodding away to it.
I tried to watch it again on my own today but 20 mins into the movie, a white middle-aged guy on my right ticked me off because apparently I was annoying him with my sniffles. I get the sniffles in any air conditioned environment. He asked me with annoyance written all over his face ‘ Are you going to do that throughout the whole movie?!’ I tried to explain to him that my nose is quite sensitive in a cold environment, but he went ‘ So? it’s disturbing others!’
What could I do? I could hv moved away to another seat but I just left the theatre because I will be very conscious about my sniffles (it was more than half packed) and won’t enjoy the movie. I felt snubbed but it was alright ... I had already watched it twice before but I was appalled at his lack of compassion for the sick. I pity his girlfriend or wife sitting next to him. And I always thought that the westerners were more courteous because they would have been brought up in a cultured environment. Oh what an eye-opener!! People can be so self-centered, so self-absorbed regardless of their background! Shocking.
Update as at Thursday 22 Feb 2018
I went to watch it again today morning. I'm having fever and the works. I popped some paracetamol and still went to catch it! There were only 5 of us in the theatre...and i controlled my sniffles and cough as much as I could. Fever may come and go but great movies on the big screen?? Uhh....Like never!!
I remember something once a friend said during Dirty Dancing musical that a few of us were watching in 2013. She said that she watched the movie Dirty Dancing over and over again because she absolutely loved it. I couldn’t comprehend what she said at that point, but now I can totally relate to what she meant.
Coming back to my movie The Greatest Showman , I don't think I've watched a movie this many times!! 3.5 times so far...and the thing is I'm still enjoying it....hmmm, should I catch it one more time?? Just to get my fill?? Just to get it out of my system? Omg...How obsessed can I get?
Somebody, please STOP ME!!!! :))
Friends disappearing from our lives is a sad part of our journey on this earth. Slowly you stop talking to them, slowly you stop meeting up with them and slowly these angels disappear out of your lives, unnoticed like in the excerpt above. Sometimes, it just stops me in my tracks .... when I realise that I may never talk to or see a friend again and I feel a deep sinking in my heart. I brush it aside quickly because I really don't want it to bring me down.
One day many years from now I’ll think back to the times we shared and how once they played an important part in both our lives. Will my friends miss me as much? They could hv moved on and they may or may not. But that’s life isn’t it? But it has always been my belief that if you want a friendship or any relationship to continue to last, we must make an effort. Both sides. Otherwise, it will ‘disappear’, even without any of us realising.
For instance, my current docent friends... A great bunch of ladies and I do meet up with them for drinks and have a lot of fun with them and we made grand plans to keep in touch even in the future but once our training finishes, where will we be? Will we have a common ground to stand on? Will our conversations have the same sense of camaraderie that we feel now ? Actually, it may or may not... but I’ll enjoy our hilarious moments now as long as it lasts.
Here’s to all the friends who hv ‘disappeared’ or who are currently 'disappearing' from my life. I sincerely hope you are well or will be well whatever you are doing with your life. Be happy always and be blessed.
I just returned home after watching a wonderful movie. The Greatest Showman. I saw the trailer last year and I thought looks like a watchable movie and that I must catch it. I had been postponing it but I’m so glad I made the time to watch this movie today.
Its such a nice feel good movie. And I was amazed at the songs, the dance choreography and Hugh Jackman’s acting just blew me away. Great actor - the greatest showman indeed. Left the theatre in tears and with goosebumps. Totally mesmerising. And of course who could say no to watching Zac Effron for 2 hours with his dashing good looks and baby blue eyes :)
After the last few days of feeling totally lousy, it was such a nice welcome to watch a movie with a happy ending. Where true love prevails even if our stars have to be rewritten.
I loved the movie soundtrack This is Me as well..it moves me and touches deep within me. I feel like I'm on stage myself dancing and singing .. I went to sleep with a little euphoria.
Please watch it if you haven’t seen it yet. Would love to catch it again. Care to join me?
I have had a love affair with watches for the longest time. I read an article recently about an elderly stylish lady who said that there are only 2 accessories that she dons when she steps out- a pair of earrings that brightens up her face and a good watch to see time. That resonated quite deeply with me. I went 'Oh my I am just like you ' when I read that article. That article was the inspiration for this post on my infatuation with watches. Classy elegant watches.
It all started when my husband and I started dating during our Ernst & Young days back in the late 1990s. Gosh, that sounds like another era altogether, doesn't it?! As a birthday gift, he bought me a plastic strapped Swatch watch. It was sweet of him to get me that watch, even if it was the wrong one he picked out, given that we had been there a week earlier and I was swooning over another. Guys can be so floopy at times. They just don't pay attention! We went back and changed to the one I liked. So unromantic? So fussy? But, I'd rather wear a watch I like. Wouldn't you? This was at City Hall Swatch watch outlet which was next to The Body Shop at that time when we still had Accessorize in Singapore. Sadly, now we don't. I got my Accessorize fix during my visit to Engand recently. I wore that watch for a long time, I still do even when the strap tore and I had to change to a white strap (See picture below). That fact that it still works after 20 years gives a resounding testimony to the quality of Swatch watches doesn't it? It was my husband's first gift to me. I am quite a sentimental romantic person and I have a lot of attachments to stuff, like my first Nokia handphone I have in my cupboard which looks like a walkie talkie with the antenna sticking out. The pregnancy tests I took to confirm my pregnancies [When they saw them recently, my teen girls went 'Ew, Mom you peed on them!" :) ]. Its not unusual or abnormal to be attached to things simply because they bring back memories of the times you had when you first got them or some other memories surrounding that item of value. Just simple nostalgia.
Then, my sister June got me another Swatch watch (what is with me and Swatch watches?) in the early 200Os when my girls were still toddlers. She was wearing this matte gold designed plastic strapped with matte gold designs on the face of the watch itself too. Pretty and understated even though it was matte gold. I complimented it a lot and my sister got my hint and got it for my birthday!(Thank you, di). We would meet weekly at Bayshore Park where she was living because my girls started swimming lessons at that time in the pool there. Come to think of it, that's where I met my artist friend, Sherin. My mom was also living in Bayshore Park at that time and I still remember she walking down that long winding path under swaying huge shady Angsana trees to the pool to come meet us. See, how memories are coming back? Hmmm...I am not sure if I still have that watch though...let me dig around.
Then, while living in Pasir Ris, I fell in love with the rectangle shape of the face of watches and got for myself an inlaid mother of pearl face on a stainless steel metal Guess brand watch. Not very expensive probably only around $200 plus. That watch brings memories of us living in Pasir Ris and hanging out with my girls and my then helper Gloria at McDonald's next to that watch shop. I was still wearing that till last month.
After I returned from America in 2015, I got a pair of watches in Takashimaya shopping centre along Orchard Rd. I needed a gold watch to match my gold accessories or with my Indian sarees. I visit my hairdresser Chezvous at the 5th floor of Takashimaya every few months and inevitably I would end up shopping at the shopping centre on the lower floors below. I have been going to Riz at Chezvous for the longest time since my Ernst & Young days. In between, I frequented NK Hairworks at Parkway Parade but with my hairdresser Winnie aggressively shoving package after package at my face (1 package for haircut, another for hair colour, another for straightening my fringe etc), I grew increasingly reluctant to see her. So, I went back to Chezvous where the hairdressers (Beyonce is my current hairdresser) are polite, patient and no packages have been touted there. Now, I bring along my girls there too. Anyway, these watches by Anne Klein were reasonably priced and sat rather nicely on my thin wrist (See picture below). Not branded watches but they looked alright.
Then, I got a Skagen watch. Skagen watches are super understated but very classy. Not sure how I got that steel mesh strapped watch with white face but again it brings back memories of a birthday lunch I had with my Temasek Primary friends at Thai Express in Parkway Parade. I had requested no birthday gifts please but to contribute whatever amount you can to donate to SPCA - the society against animal creulty. I actually collected over $200 dollars that day. Thank you my dearest friends for your small act of animal kindness. Then during the lunch, a friend S commented that my Skagen watch looked great on me. I thanked her and didn't think twice about her comment but surprisingly whenever I wear that watch now, I still remember that lunch and her comment. I can imagine what's going on in your head - my goodness, Nilo. You are so sentimental to the core!!
My most recent purchase just this year 2017 for our 17th Anniversary, is a simply beautiful Longines watch. I had been eyeing a particular model for quite some time, even before leaving for America in 2014. I remember checking out the Longines watch shop at Changi Airport Terminal 3 just before our departure to America on 25th Feb 2014. But somehow, it didn't get to be worn on my wrist just yet. I forgot about it actually with all that packing and unpacking in Bluebell, Pennsylvania and returning back to Singapore in mid 2015. I had forgotten about it but apparently the universe had remembered and this year my desire materialized. I admit that its my most expensive watch at over $1 K and my only branded watch now. The simple style of Roman numerals on a rectangular silver steel face is worth splurging on. It sits elegantly without screaming for attention. I wore this lovely watch all over London and Paris and just last night at my husband's company dinner. I don't wear my Longines watch often because it is just too precious.
There you have my story of my love affair with watches. I am currently eyeing a black leather strapped round faced Longines watch as well. My love affair continues....
Or maybe the title of this post should have read why do I try so hard to be someone I am not? Just 4 months ago I was so excited and on top of the world. I had been successfully admitted into the docent training program in the National Museum of Singapore. Having tried last year and been disappointingly turned down, this was a cause for celebration for me. Of course I didn't go around celebrating. It was a rare moment of quiet joy. I thought to myeslf - finally things are taking off in my life. There was some direction. I have had enough of being a stay at home mom/home maker and the never ending chores. I got a live in helper (or a maid we call here in Singapore) to help me with my housework, since I was going to be busy in my new life. Or so I thought.
When I started the training on Sep 14th, I couldn't have been more content. All the new friends from so many different countries of varying ages. The training twice weekly in the mornings where we would listen to lectures from historians and go on field trips to so many interesting historical places in Singapore which I would have never visited or turned back to look if it not had been for my docent training. The hours of research and the readings it involved was - how do I put this simply - it was like giving food to a very hungry man. I agree it is a lame metaphor. But I was hungry for knowledge, hungry to be thought of as not only a housewife or a stay at home mom. I was hungry for that validation that I am more than what you see. By whom? Well, a lot of people including my own family but let's not go there.
And when I gave everthing I had into my research, my papers turned out exceedingly well. All the years of knowing inside that I am capable of so much more was channeled into my research. My group leader Linka - a lovely Dutch lady - vouched that I'm one of her best students and I'll do well as a docent! My fellow group members praised my delivery of my practice talks and added that I'm so natural. With all that compliments in my head, my confidence grew. I started planting thoughts of working in museums. Those thoughts grew and became bigger. Why not then do a masters degree in art and history. That should boost my chances of getting a job?
I was so naive. So innocent. Living in my own dream world. I did realise soon enough that all these things are what I want others to think of me. 'Wow, Nilo is doing her masters' Wow, Nilo is working in a museum, after all these years as a housewife!' Its not what I wanted to do on my own for myself. Why was I pretending to be someone I wasn't? I'm not cut out to working in a 9 to 5 job again where the travelling and the office politics will ruin the whole job exeperience. Plus who would employ a 45 year old who has been unemployed for the last 17 years? If I'm not going back into the workforce, why the need for a masters degree? Why would I waste my hubsnd's 27K even if I had wanted to learn for the sake of gaining knowlwdge? Why do I want others to validate me? Why is there this constant internal frustration because of the comparison to friends and family who are successful in their lives?
As the year rolls around to an end and when I look around I see people merry-making over meals and having special gatherings to mark special occasions and all the commercialism that comes with it- the gift giving, the shopping, the mingling, the drinking... I don't know. I maybe wrong I feel its all just a farce. Its just not who all of you are. It is just a mask all of you are wearing and you are all dead inside. We all put up an act and pretend to be that fun lively but still an intelligent person to please others so that others will like us. Aren’t we all guilty of that? And why is drinking a glass of wine at a social gathering so in and when you don’t why do people judge you and make you feel like an alien? When did that happen? Why does being invited to a party or a gathering an indication of how well liked you are?
Friends are only present in your life at that period in your life where you have a certain connection with like for example when you are doing a particular self improvement course and they are your coursemates. After the course ends and when you don’t have a common thread that connects you, you slowly lose touch and they vanish from your life after that. Out of sight out of mind. Rarely, they become close friends. Just like my new docent friends. They are a bunch of fun but serious when it comes to training ladies. I was very excited when I first met them. I started harbouring dreams and hopes of finding a lifelong close friend/s. Told you I was naive. I do realise now that I won't see them weekly after March next year when my training ends. I have learnt that I shouldn't place too much hope on most casual friendships..they just don't last a lifetime. If you have found that certain friend or a group of girl friends who you do everything with, you are blessed. Please hold on to that friendship. Don’t ever let go.
So recently, like hot stones, I dropped everything - all these silly ambitions that have sprung up in the last 4 months. A wiser mature person I have become and I’m glad for it. I'm not going to pretend to be someone I am not. I do not have to prove anything to anyone. If you think I'm just a boring old housewife, so be it. You don't know me. I am contented with my housework and looking after the needs of my family, no matter how routine it can get (I have sent off my helper when I realised I don't really need her afterall). This house work - it keeps me grounded. No fancy dreams to float around in. With innocent hopes of finding that one true friend out of the window, I have spun my own little cacoon around myself. Who said you can’t be happy in your own company? The words of the song 'Me, Myself and I' by Bebe Rexha comes to my mind,
Oh, its just me, myself and I
Solo ride until I die
Cause, I got me for life
Oh, I don't need a hand to hold
Even when the night is cold
I got that fire in my soul
Yeah, I do!!
Let me ask you something. When someone invites you to a lunch at her place, isn't it basic courtesy to reply if you are able or unable to attend? I mean how long is that going to take to respond? A minute ? Tops 2, perhaps?
Recently, I had invited a group of my friends in our whatsapp group chat for Diwali Lunch at my place. We are a group of around 10 Singaporean ladies - 2 are away in Australia. We have known each other for a long time. Since our children had been 7 years old (2009) in the same elementary school in the east of Singapore. We had grown close over the years because we would discuss our children, their many idiosyncratic behaviour, their unbelievably strict teachers and because we were parent volunteers too, we had many chances to meet up. It was a lovely period in our lives. I'm not sure about the rest, but it was for me absolutely. I am not a loner. I thrive in groups of friends. I love the closeness, the laughter and the camaraderie that close friendships bring. We learn so much from each other. We share the happiest and the saddest of moments with our girlpals. Girlfriends add a certain depth and meaning to our lives that we can't get from our husbands. After all, we are all of the same species. Its not shocking.
Then, something inevitable happened. The kids grew up (they all do!) and one by one they left school and went on to different secondary schools. They became teenagers. So, they did not need to be picked up anymore. All these changes affected the group dynamics. All of a sudden, we were not meeting up outside Temasek Primary School Exit Gate B anymore waiting to pick up our kids. When during the last few days my girls were in Temasek Pri before we went abroad, I remember thinking exactly this. Slowly, but surely, we grew apart. Its disheartening. But its an inevitable change, isnt it? Many groups face that. But do you know what I failed to take from the situation? The very fact that we have grown apart.
I realised it today. It was like a ray of enlightenement I received while I was handling yet another disappointing episode in my life this morning. We had been close friends before. The key word being 'had'. But we are not anymore. I was trying desperately to hold on to the past because of the beautiful memories we shared. But the past remains in the past. I can't recreate the past in the present. Its basic common sense. We have matured as some of us are in our fifties now and some in late forties.. Some of us have started working, some have gone back to school and we have different interests, different friends now. In short, we have gone different ways. It's no one's fault. It's just the way things have turned out.
So there I was inviting everyone over for the Diwali lunch and a few replied within the next 2 days. Only 3. And some replied after prompting a few times. Am I over reacting? Am I expecting too much? No I don't think I am. I'm dead sure about this. It is basic courtesy to reply to say that you can or you can't come because you have something else to attend to. Or if you are working. If you are not sure, just say that and when you can confirm by. And of course, please do get back. Like I said earlier, it takes only 2 mins at the most. Brushing your teeth takes longer than that, for goodness sake!
I realised I was trying too hard to recreate that closeness I had when people just don't give a damn anymore. Really, no one does! I left the chat group today after so many years, wishing them well and thanking them for the memories. If any of you are reading my post, remember I write all this in good will and no hard feelings are involved. You are all good ladies and I love you all to the end of the world. You were my good friends once but we have gone separate ways. If only you felt my dedication to our friendship and had replied sooner or replied at all. That's what troubled me. I just wanted to do my part in educating all of you and the public. I'm certainly not perfect and I do have my over the top sometimes even peculiar ways but I always try to be polite.
After all that, what is my point I am putting across? As you navigate through the later years of your lives, please don't forget your basic manners, to rsvp, to be honest even if its brutal. Don't become so busy or so nanchalant that you let it erode your values of civility. And don't take your friends for granted. They may not be significant in your life right now but they were at one point and they would have contributed to your life experiences without which we are nothing. Good manners - they are the cornerstone of every person, young or old. Period.
You elude me
but your eyes don't
I search for your eyes in the crowd
As you search for mine
And our eyes lock
Just for that fleeting moment
Time stands still
No words only love
You deny me
but your heart doesn't
I can see it
even when others don't
Should I be grateful
or greed for more
Hope and despair
Fight back and forth
Is this pure stupidity
Or love and patience
If only our eyes could talk
If only our souls opened up
So much to say
So much to share
An overflow of emotions
that even the greatest dam can't hold
Its painful to wait
when the longing is great
Seconds seem like hours
and the days like years
When will I see you next
when will I embrace you next
This feels so wrong
yet it feels so right
Oh the wait is so long
the wait for your absolute return
will it ever end
this tunnel of darkness with no illumination
You elude me
but your eyes don't
I am a Muslim by birth but I never understood my Muslim background. I went for my religious classes dutifully when I was quite young in elementary school without comprehending nor questioning the real purpose. I had assumed it was a natural journey for me and my siblings. I learnt the Quranic verses by heart for my prayers, learnt the methods of the 5 daily prayers and when I wasn't afflicted by my Crohn's disease yet, I used to fast during the holy Muslim month of Ramadhan.
It was only when I was around 15 and was forced to take Islamic Religious Knowledge as a compulsory subject in secondary school, that I learnt the immense depth and true meaning of Islam and what being a Muslim entails. The story of how the archangel Gabriel came to Prophet Muhammad in 600AD in the mountains while he was quietly meditating and asked him to read and came to reveal the first verses of the Holy Quran caught my breath,
'Read ! Read in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher who
Created man out of a clot of congealed blood
Proclaim and thy Lord is most bountiful
Who taught by the pen
Taught man which he knew not'
I was so fascinated by this verse that I had printed it out and pasted a copy on my mirror so that I would read it everyday. That was the sudden Muslim fanatic teen in me at that time. I still remember my newfound stoic loyalty to Islam and how I would have arguments with my girlfriends in school who would question Islam. But as time passed, I grew less passionate about Islam but I still did my Muslim prayers regularly.
Then, after school and while working in Ernst & Young Singapore, I met my husband Anand, who is a Hindu. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would meet and marry a non-Muslim and all the more, someone who will not convert to a Muslim (he is a devout Hindu)! My 15 year old me would have been shocked that our marriage may not be recognised in Allah's eyes and our children could be illegitimate!! But I was in love and totally blinded. Maktub - in Islam we say what God had planned out for us. We got married in a civil court - neither of us holding any religious wedding. My mom was devastated because she had assumed that I being the most faithful staunch Muslim among my siblings, that she would be going to Mecca with me for the compulsory Haj pilgrimage. But she grew accustomed to the idea with the assurance of my sister who said that of all the guys I had dated [I have had my fair share :)], this Hindu guy was the best.
So, I began visiting temples at the insistance of my husband and my girls were brought up under Hindu customs. My husband doesn't mind me doing my Muslim prayers, he actually encourages me to pray more. That's very sweet of him. When I went through a painful period a few years ago and when even with all my deepest faith in Islam, my problem couldn't be resolved, I turned to Hindu Gods particularly to Vinayagar, the Elephant God. I remember weeping in the Vinayagar Temple in Ceylon Road in Singapore one evening so oblivious to the crowd around me. My husband was there and I remember him saying when he saw me crying ' Good. Let your tears flow. Reach out to him and lay your deepest thoughts and problems with him.' He knew what I was crying over. Over time, I returned to my Islamic faith. It occurred to me that I was born as a Muslim and I should never forsake my Muslim prayers. I hadn't visited Vinayagar for a while.
Today after many moons, my husband asked me to accompany him to the Vinayagar Temple. I didn't want to disppoint him so I went along. It was crowded because we were in the midst of a Hindu Festival that goes on for 9 nights. There was a performance on one side, ladies dressed in beautiful vibrant sarees sitting on the floor watching, others going about doing their Hindu rituals, priests putting garlands on the Hindu deities, kids running around with their maids chasing them. Crowded but all so familiarly blissful. I paused and took in the moment.
Vinayagar was as usual beautifully decked in jewelry and gold shawls. My first prayer when I saw Him? 'It has been 4 years since I first prayed to you asking just for that one thing. Was it never meant to be?' It was a beautiful nostalgic moment. I remembered my tears and started welling up but I held them back in time. I have mostly embraced my issue and kind of accepted it, but I do have my moments of weakness like then. But I realised that this time, I was much more calmer and I looked at Vinayagar with new eyes, smiling. Let God do what he has plan to do for all of us. He will never give us anything we can't handle. I returned home with a smile on my face and with a certain calmness within me that just can't be explained.
My home is
usually in a mess and has dust settled on almost everything. But I believe laughter and love will win the day. In 20 years, my girls won't remember how messy the house was but will remember the time we spent together and the love they felt...