The older one cuts out the words “Live, laugh, love” from an old newspaper and sticks it on her bedroom wall while the younger one puts up a “Do not enter” sign on her door.
With no personal car and taxi rides being special treats, we quickly learn the nuances of riding in buses and trains.
On the days I feel blue, I choose to confront it the same way I approach everything, with enthusiasm.
If I see a glass less than full, I am that optimist who enthusiastically fills it, not always completely, but definitely until it is half-full. I choose to focus instead on concrete actions, not knowing whether they are long-lasting solutions or interim measures. To eat dinner together, even if the meal does not have the preferred food of each member.
The walls of my home were lined with pictures of visits to London, Paris, New York.
I had friends and hobbies, a job and a bank account with enough money to support myself. Everything around me was a reminder of what was missing in an outwardly perfect life.
The first time I saw falling snow was also the first time I saw the majestic Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
I had landed in America, a few weeks before Christmas, as a naïve twenty-two-year-old bride.
Like ducklings that get imprinted by the first moving object and follow it around, assuming it is the mother, I fully absorbed and internalised the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” principles of the Declaration of Independence that underscore life in America. Acquiring a driving license allowed me to drive on wide highways with the windows down and the radio turned up, happy to experience a worldly pleasure that was commonplace in America but beyond my father’s reach in our middle-class life back in India.
I went on a boat ride to the base of Niagara Falls, walked along the Grand Canyon and floated above the vineyards in Napa Valley in a hot air balloon.