As rightly said, time flies and weeks turn to months, months to years, and years to decades. A few decades pass and as one catches up on age, memories have a way of flooding our psyche.
I grew up in a middle-class family, living in the suburbs of Mumbai City, which then used to be called Bombay. A second born of three children, an elder sister, and a younger brother came with its share of disadvantages and many advantages. That’s a different story and can make another good blog writeup sometime in the future!
Married at the age of twenty-five to a Naval officer was a 360-degree change, for someone like me who came from a civilian background. A Banker father and a homemaker mother and a house that set reasonable rules and boundaries viz a viz school, friends, clothes and overall behaviour. Simple, straightforward, and being honest was the thumb rule.
A young bride who walks into the services has a lot to learn and unlearn. Keeping a good house, being quick in the kitchen when friends drop in unannounced, managing domestic helps, and chores both inside and outside of the house when the husband would be embarked / sailing were just a few, to begin with.
A mother almost immediately at the age of twenty-six was like getting into the fast lane on a freeway, whilst you still hold only a learner’s license. Anyways, life teaches you the best lessons in its unique way, and yes, I learned along the way. Being a wife and then almost immediately a mother.
In the armed forces, transfers happen approximately every three to four years. When the husband who dons that crisp white uniform comes home from duty and announces that “we have to move” – it’s a big announcement for the family, a professional movement for him and in every way an eventful day. It’s exciting, at the same time a lot of work for the lady of the house. She has to think of tying up a whole lot of stuff, beyond the regular household goods. In those days (early 90’s) we hardly used the packers to pack the stuff. A truck from the mover would come to your door on a scheduled date and time when all your stuff is expected to be packed and ready to be loaded.
At the other end, he would unload it and the unpacking is done by who else – the lady of the house because this officer has to attend the call of duty!
I too like many other wives learned the hard way. Earmarking boxes for the kitchen, clothes, books, toys, linen, etc, etc. Besides marking them we also had to pack essentials separately, in case a house is not allotted on arrival, and we end up staying in transit accommodation. Well, padded boxes with newspaper, cloth, and bubble paper for glassware and crockery was a huge task in itself.
I must admit, I did goof up many times and on one occasion left the keys of those big huge trunks of packed goods behind at Bombay when we moved to the southern part of the country – Cochin. Lucky for us, a friend was traveling and she helped with bringing the keys back, that too at an airport belonging to the Navy.
Our son used to find it super exciting to watch stuff being loaded onto a truck and then going to a new city and a new house. Yes, a new school needed a bit of adjustment and children have their ways of finding those niches where they can squeeze themselves and adjust along the way ………until the next transfer.
At this point, I have to fast forward to almost two decades. Now that little kid is all grown up, married to a beautiful human, now settled in Canada. Both well qualified and professionally successful. She naturally fills the space of the daughter we always wanted but never had.
The year 2020, an eventful one for the whole world. Covid has turned our world upside down and work schedules have gone for a toss. Work from home, now normal and wouldn’t seem to change for a while into this year 2021.
Shifting homes, this young couple were in every way excited but realized the hard work only when they got down to their knees – packing, sealing, transporting, unpacking, settling, and then plonking on the couch all exhausted. While I am thousands of miles away from Canada, in Mumbai I can feel the agony and stress they would have to endure for this shift. Yes, I would love to have been around and put my expertise to work, at this task because no one can beat a service officers’ wife at moving homes. Effortless and seamless it may appear but only she is aware of the coordination that goes into arranging each one of those trunks.
Life is the best teacher and shows you the map which you have to follow – instinctive and intuitive because Siri, Google, and Alexa are not yet equipped to handhold you here. Thank god for that! I am glad our son, has made the shift in the literal sense ……. with his wife to a new abode. So, while they are unpacking and settling down, all I can send them is a whole lot of love and blessings for now.
Here is to happy movements that life offers. Grab them, cherish all the memories, and treasure the old and new ones ……………. because that “trunk” in your heart and mind does not have a bottom.
It’s deep and needs to be filled, every day, every moment. Emotions are what these treasures are wrapped in so that they never crack or break because they have to be with you forever!