It was 10:45 am and I gave a last minutes check to my luggage’s weight, four hours before the flight time. My ticket reads- 30 KGs luggage allowed. The measurement reads 35 KGs. Just about set for the romantic climax of the separation of the boy and his beloved extra 5 KGs of luggage. Offloading 5 KGs was a challenging ordeal. Last minutes hiccups can often be nerve-wracking but given the emotions of the last minutes kisses and misses I had to keep my calm. Yes the calm, but the calmness of the word calm may often be misinterpreted as in my case calm was just the absence of expressive anxiety and nervousness.
Never before this day had I headed towards the International terminal. Well I never had the opportunity to travel outside my country except for few Indian cities. As a first timer the worrying factor for me was not the lack of previous experience but the information overload about the musts, do’s, should do’s and better do’s. Lucky me that I had so many resourceful people to guide and saying thank you would be lesser a term for the unfathomable gratitude that I owe to each one of the them who wanted to ensure that I had all the resources in my armory for the upcoming ordeal.
Finally it was time to enter the terminal through the departure gates and I saw my mother and rest of the family members through rather translucent glass windows as far as possible. The absence of emotions in each one their faces meant that all their emotions had mingled and enlightened by the sense of realization that I was leaving. On the inside I met my school friend, Abhishek and his smiling welcome liberated me of all my fears. Sometimes when you have helpful faces hovering around your deepest fears it’s when you feel the presence of a heavenly intervention.
As the plane made its way through the air only then a sense of disbelief started sinking in about the first international flight. 25th February, 2014 should go down in my history books as the day of revolutionary changes when things take their course in a whisker of a moment. Twenty days prior to that I did not know I would be taking this flight I was rather preparing for a field visit for my work. It was a brisk ride the scholarship offer, the confirmation, the VISA applications, medical tests, handover of works at the office, last minutes office duties to complete, shopping, paying out my annual bills at home, visit to the relatives, last minute phone calls, paper works….and there’s lot more.
But the more than fast pace of events it was also about me-the questioning self, as I questioned myself time and again, am I capable? am I up for this opportunity? Will I be able to make it?. But my deepest fear was not that I am incapable. The sense of altered self confidence brought about the lack of disbelief about the things happening around me was the diagnosis. Many a time endowment of an opportunity is beyond the perimeter of the sensible thoughts and imperfections of self. It is that time when we grow and rise above the thinking self, attaining the worldly “Nirvana-the enlightened one”. On the plane though it all felt like a dream as the fondest childhood aspiration of getting on board an international flight had been materialized.
I believe dreams do have their inception in the womb of utter confusion, chaos and soul searching. The birth of which is sublime, nullifying all impossibilities encapsulating all adversities. We all have a dream- A cinematic experience, transcending beyond one’s significant self, visualizing facts beyond ones factual self. In 12 hours time I had landed at the Melbourne Airport, a true cinematic experience, too good to be true… I had woken up and somehow been teleported right through my dream. It was time to wake up and smell the coffee I guess because the subtle anxiety and nervousness of touching down in a new country, new city was almost deafening. But in an unknown land it’s always so much relieving to find some familiar faces. The familiarity was only limited to email correspondence though but it felt like as if I knew him for ages. Tall, lanky, blonde hair, with a gentle specs, and soft spoken… there I go I finally meet Ken after a look out for some time, wow!!! Wasn’t that relieving… he is Ken Wallis, born and brought up in Melbourne. I could not be more thankful as he gave me a ride to the place I will be residing. So after 26 years into being, my address suddenly changed from Siddharthamarg, Anamnagar, Ward 32, KMC to 4/28 Acacia Street, Glenroy, VIC 3046…
Acacia street has been a home away from home, Roshan “dai” (meaning brother), and Mukta “di” (meaning sister). I feel humbled and thank god that I came in confluence with such beautiful people throughout the journey. The painting above depicts all those face that helped me out and became a part of my dream ride. Thank you for the rainbow of emotions that they showered on me…The painting is simple dedication to their gesture. Thank you would just be a formality……