Day 35 – Serendipitous strangers…

… and small talk.

 

Somewhere past first introductions, being acquaintances and small talk, you find similarities and intimacy with strangers you didn’t imagine possible. Over those many texts and phone calls, the best part about these friendships is getting to know each other.

Whenever I’m in a room with new people, I’m always tongue tied and my gut always pulls back. There is this sudden need for boundaries from people you’ve met only moments ago. How much information is too much? How much is enough? Funny enough, this guard just drops when I see who I am with, and tongue tied who?

All these life-long friendships have grown from being serendipitous strangers to being friends like family. One such human of joy is Aakansha aka Keds aka Lover & Keeper of Fairy Lights. After months of texting each other and planning, Aakansha and I finally met at Pancake Parlour about a year ago. One thing led to another and the evening ended with me being at her house and hanging out like we were friends from some other life, in her backyard. We found ourselves sharing stories that were a lot more intimate than those you usually would in a first meet. Strangely enough when we have to share our story, we were introduced to each other by another common friend (shoutout to Rhuta). I remember one of us pointing out how easily we connected despite being just acquaintances the day before.

Getting to know someone for the first time is like diving into that delicious molten cake from your favourite Friday night restaurant. You start out with some vanilla ice-cream, move on to that warm layer of cake, and finally dive straight into that rich molten chocolate. Each element tells its own story while you’re unravelling all those flavours. A lot like new friendships and getting to know someone. It’s all in the details; in the stories.

Serendipitous strangers

Now that I’m reliving that moment, all it was was two serendipitous strangers sitting on the grass with their glasses of wine, talking about life instead of making small talk.

My daily affirmations are proof of the impact these beautiful strangers can have on your life…on you.

Get out. Stay out. Find your stranger(s).

Today’s tune: Perfect Strangers (Cover) by Grace Grundy.

Day 35 – 19 September 2017.
331 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash

Day 20 – Big brown chair

All my (good) senses moved to my back today and are being churned with all those cramps. For the most part of the day, I functioned like a robot to not feel the pain but it’s still there, clinging to me the way I did to my mother. And she’ll tell you, that wasn’t pretty.

While I was on the bus, constantly shifting in my seat trying to find a comfortable position, all I wanted was to be in this brown chair I had in my house in Goa. As a kid, I would sprawl across it, with my head hanging over one arm and my legs from the other. In between was this couch-like seat that felt warmer than any bed. So cozy, mum and I fought over it (yes, the vices are real). The chair would fit so perfectly against your back, curled up it felt like a hug in a chair. I miss and need that hug today. That, and a hot cup of soup and macaroni.

It’s funny how a piece of furniture makes everything okay. And how even after all these years, it feels like home. What’s your comfort corner?

Today’s tune: Homeward Bound/Home by Glee.

Day 20 – 23 May 2017.
346 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 13 – Motherhood IV

Over the last few months, I have been so lucky to foster and share a beautiful relationship with one of my mum’s friends. Thirty five years of friendship, and one year of unbiased and unconditional motherhood. If anything, this special relationship has taught me that family is not always blood related.

Over the years, I have heard so many stories about Christine (and mum’s other catering college friends). Mum always praised her ambition and dedication to her family and work, and how it was something to strive for. Even though we hadn’t met until last year, I knew enough to know that she was special. Today, I know with certainty, she is more than special.

Part IV: Chris Sr aka Mama Fernandes aka Nan

She exclaims with pride, “I was married at 22, had my first child at 23.” We were watching tv the other day when I asked her if she would’ve done things differently had she been in a similar situation today. Would it be mind over heart? Work over family? I explained how most of my friends today want to wait and would think 23 is too young. At 23, we barely know ourselves. How do you know you’re ready for marriage or children? She didn’t pause, she didn’t think, she just said, “We knew when it was right and saw no point in waiting. I don’t see why anyone would. And even today, I don’t see why one should because you can always have the best of both worlds.”

This is Christine. My foster mom, guide and source of inspiration. My home away from home.

Christine opened her arms, home and heart to me when I first moved to Australia. What at the time was a short-term plan suddenly turned into home (even Christmas apart wasn’t too easy). I have watched family turn on their own so often. Here, I watched a lady who hadn’t even met me, open her doors and trust me. She didn’t have to but she did anyway with no filters or expectations. If this isn’t motherhood, what is?

Christine is a pocketful of sunshine – full of love, light and laughter. Each day in the Fernandes household is a treat – especially watching her go from being hangry to happy, or gutted to giggly (no Xav?). I feel to grateful to have these days and dreams.

I am a strong believer of fate. I believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason. I was meant to meet you and now you’re never allowed to leave. Thank you for sharing even a little bit of your life with me.

Our special relationship has taught me that you can choose your family, and you’re mine.

Happy Mother’s Day Mama (Nan) Fernandes!

Thank you Mama Correia, for your friends who are now family.

Today’s tune: I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.

Day 13 – 16 May 2017.
353 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 12 – Motherhood III

In our culture, when a child is baptised he/she has godparents chosen by their parents. Their purpose is to support the child, and be that unconventional guiding force and friend. When my mum chose my godmother, I wasn’t given someone to be my guardian. My godmother has been my second mother, sister, and girlfriend all wrapped in one.

Part III: Mama Jr aka Fairy Godmother

With Michelle, it wasn’t an obligation but compatibility that made our relationship work so well. She is a lot of things my mother isn’t and that completed us as a family. The three of us bonded like sisters from different generations. And our differences only strengthened our bond and love for each other. My mother is really sensitive and emotional, and I get that from her. My godmother, on the other hand, is the practical one always encouraging me to get out of my comfort zone. While my mum would be protective, my aunt would challenge me to take the leap. Today, this love from two very different yet similar strong women has shaped me.

Thank you for teaching me tough love and responsibility, Mama Jr. You’re the perfect example of how motherhood isn’t something you juggle with other responsibilities, it isn’t a responsibility by birth, and it isn’t something you measure but treasure. Thank you for always loving me as your own (and first baby). I really am the lucky one.

Happy Mother’s Day Michelle. You are my strength and pride.

We all have lessons to learn, people to watch, memories to make, love to share. I have the Noronha sisters, my all in all.

Today’s tune: Everything by Michael Bublé.

Day 12 – 15 May 2017.
354 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 11 – Motherhood II

Today, I kept looking at everyone share so many beautiful thoughts and messages for their mums. Some in spirit and some in the flesh. My heart has been filled with so much love and gratitude. I haven’t felt this happy in a while. Reading every post only made me realise how much unconditional love still exists in the world. There is no love like that of a mother’s. Yet, it felt like I didn’t have the right words to express how I felt.

Part II: Mama Correia aka Supermom aka Best Friend

After my father died, my mother chose to continue living, and with strength and love. She didn’t want to, she didn’t have to, but she chose to. My mother chose my brother and me over grieving and losing her all. Some would say motherhood is a struggle, but I’ve watched my mother embrace it as a privilege. My brother and I could only be ever so lucky − we are the privileged ones.

We celebrated Easter a few weeks ago. A feast where we celebrate the resurrection of Christ and his sacrifice so we can live. The priest spoke about Jesus’ suffering, and how he became divine so we could be human. He talked about his unconditional and everlasting love for us. Through the Holy Week services, I kept thinking how wonderful it would be to actually meet Jesus and experience that kind of love in person. To embrace it in the flesh. The kind of love that is patient, kind, forgiving and powerful. What I didn’t realise then and felt today was that I have had that kind of love with me all along.

My mother is patient, kind, powerful. Her love never fails.

My mother is my faith in the world and everything it holds. She is my strength, grace and guiding force through the good and bad times. She is my good times. She is my mum and my dad. She is my everything. She is my best best friend. Her love is mine and nothing compares.

Happy Mother’s Day mum. Thank you for doing your best.

Your love is like the wildest ocean
Oh nothing else compares
Your love never fails

Today’s tune(s):
Love So Great by Hillsong Worship
Broken Vessels by Hillsong Worship

You’re My Best Friend by Queen

Day 11 – 14 May 2017.
355 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

 

Day 9 – Passengers

This morning, I was looking at pictures from my school days. We were a group of girls, inseparable and making life-long promises to each other. Nine years later, we’re all in different parts of the world, doing different things. Some of us stuck to our paths, some of us chose new ones. It’s funny how something that once meant everything now means nothing. But is it that? Nothing?

Not every relationship can be permanent and that’s okay.

Every person we meet has a role to play in our lives. Some to teach us who we are, and some to teach us who we’re not. This one is to all those friends whose lives crossed paths with mine. We may not still be friends but you’ve made a difference in mine, and I hope I did the same for you.

Just because one relationship falls apart, our worlds shouldn’t. We’re lucky to have temporary passengers, giving us memorable experiences and lessons.

Hold on to them, relive them, learn from them.

PS. Shoutout to the girl I shared my first flight to Melbourne with. Once a passenger, now engraved on my heart and life. Happy birthday Rhuta. Thank you for crossing paths.

Today’s tune – Mama by Jonas Blue & William Singe.

Day 9 – 12 May 2017.
357 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.

Day 8 – Hero Honda CD 100

I had a dream today.

I was in a daze. I woke up (in my dream), back home in Goa lying on the white mosaic tiles in the living room. I could feel the cold hard tiles against my skin and bones. So I turned over and looked out of the window. I was a child again, and it was as if nothing had changed. I was looking up at the skylight tiles when I heard it. His bike roared in the distance as I rolled on the floor. It had this distinct sound that set it apart from the rest.

So I ran to the door and opened it before he could reach the driveway. I was at the gate in the next minute, unlocking it and waiting for him. I looked up at the mango tree and this summer’s produce and smiled thinking he would love it too. I could hear the bike get closer and I could feel my heart beating to the rhythm of the engine. Fast.

How could this be?

He was coming back after so long. It didn’t make sense, even in the dream. We were used to him being away for nine months, but nine years? None of it mattered though. All that mattered was that he was around the corner, riding his Hero Honda CD 100. I would see him and all would be forgotten. All that mattered was this −

“…he would be cruising on the rocky road, wearing his striped blue Crocodile t-shirt, black shorts, white kicks and bottle green shades. His face clean shaven and his hair well cropped. His Seiko would reflect the light of the sun making his wrist shine. His face would be straight but without a frown, calm and composed. His lips perfectly curved below his salt and pepper moustache. He would soon be in the driveway. He would soon be home.”

Five minutes passed and then ten. My feet started to burn against the tarred road, so I kept shifting from one foot to the other. Ten more minutes passed. Only now, I could hear the engine fading. The softer it got, the harder I tried to listen. Until I couldn’t hear it anymore. So I walked back to the door, suddenly, 20 years older. The wood on the door had aged and the carving had worn out.  Our white walls were covered in moss and the weeds had spread across the balcony. The door was locked and I had no key. Confused and hurting, I turned around, and there it was. His Hero Honda CD 100, still parked in the garage. Rusted and untouched.

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It was only just a dream.

Oh, I’m in pieces, it’s tearing me up, but I know
A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved.

You were an angel in the shape of my dad
When I fell down you’d be there holding me up

And when God takes you back we’ll say Hallelujah
You’re home.

Today’s tune – Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran.

Day 8 – 11 May 2017.
358 days to go.

Thanks for listening and if you relate, say hello, please and thank you.