We broke the news to our circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances about the move only after receiving the grant letter. There were mixed reactions from people. Some would appreciate and congratulate us saying that it would be the best decision we have ever taken for the kids. Some would interrogate to know why we chose to move and how we went about the entire process? Some would condemn the decision outright saying that it was foolishness to scrap the picture perfect life that we were leading back in India, uprooting the kids and flying to an unknown country without jobs to boot and starting a life from scratch. Abbas and I didn’t have a logical answer to counter their argument coz they weren’t wrong in their perspective. We would just smile and say “One life, we wanted to explore”
Within our family, Ma was the one who supported our decision from the word go. I never expected this from her but was amazed at how supportive she was. Bhaiyya, Bhabi and FIL were extremely disappointed and disheartened with our decision as soon as we broke to it to them. They just withdrew into a shell without giving us a chance to explain our case. This happened somewhere in September last year and communication between us went kaput over a couple of months. That’s why, in October we booked our tickets to Kolkata for the Christmas holidays as we knew that the BIL and family were going to come too. We had to set the misunderstandings right face to face. When we all met there, after the initial friction and restrain, we were back to track as a family, just the way we used to be before. That is what made this trip worth.
Weekends of the last two months in Bangalore saw a sudden surge in footfall. As in, we turned hosts almost every weekend to those who wanted to say good bye, catch up before we left. We would also catch up with our friends in Oz over Skype while they instructed us with do’s and don’ts. Whatever extra time we had in hand during the weekend, we would go out shopping for warm clothes (as we would land Australia in winter), shoes, clothes etc. Then of course we had people coming in to see the stuff we put up for sale or people who were interested in moving to our flat once we would vacate.
We had to give away our birds too. I don’t know if I ever mentioned in my blog, that we had got a pair of African Lutinos by giving away Potla Potli. Coz the Potlas had gone quite violent over time and would hurt their offsprings. The lutinos made an amazing pair and the ever brimming romance between them made sure they had zero gap between their breeding cycles. And they would take very good care of the chicks too. We had a whopping 10 chicks they gave birth to, among which one expired at a young age. By the time we had to give the birds away, the cage looked like a carnival of birds. It was a heartening sight to watch them all in there. We gave them to the pet store from where we had got them. I cried when we left the pet shop and then came back to a chirpless home with a heavy heart. Mantam, somehow weren’t much affected, to our surprise.
One of the most difficult good byes was to our nanny Roopa. She had become very attached to Mantam within a couple of months and vice-versa. She was a gem of a person and very kind to the kids. She was proactive in her approach, would do everything for us and the home with all her heart. She had become a family member. We didn’t know how to break the news to her as we knew she would be shattered. Abbas spoke to her tactfully coz I’m too bad at this. She became quiet and dull for a couple of days. I tried talking to her, consoled her that it was as painful for us as it was for her because we had all grown extremely fond of her. She slowly came to terms with it and helped me a lot in sorting and packing stuff. Even helped us in selling off a few things among her network of people. I can’t thank her enough for all that she has done. I gifted a her a poster of hers with Mantam.
I had to also convey this news to my parents. I called my home number and my mom picked the call. I told her that we were moving base to Australia. I asked her to give us their blessings. As usual I kept talking and she just listened. At the end of all that I had to say, I started sobbing and seemed like she too reciprocated from the other end.
To be continued…