Archive for July, 2010

I’m just not cut out for goodbyes

I cried today.

I tried holding it in, but seeing sad faces, and feeling sadness when Shree Devi and Malini held my hand in theirs really didn’t help me contain my tears. Shree Devi was holding my hand, looking like she lost her appetite. Malini was also sitting beside me, staring into space, looking like she has a big headache. I tried comforting them, but before I know it, I was the first to shed tears.

And the tears just kept flowing as I hugged them all (ok, not the guys…but Shree Devi, Jona, Malini, Nanjama, and my boss, Madam Bhagya). I wonder if I’m making a fool of myself, as I saw shocked faces. I guess no one expected an intern to cry…and it’s not even the last day!

I have 4 days left with them (minus Sunday) till next Tuesday, and then I will begin a new chapter in my life. I know for sure that I will leave this with a heavy heart. My heart weighs a ton even now…

It reminds me of how I felt when I left Bago City, only now, I feel 10 times sadder because I’ve been here 5 months, and they have been my only ‘family’ here…

I will miss them…a great deal indeed…


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CLT will always be a special chapter of my life.

I’m ending my internship here in CLT next Tuesday…and truth be told, I will miss this place dearly. It will always hold a special place in my heart, for it is at this place and time that I have met so many special people who constantly touches me in one way or another.

My boss, Madam Baghya is the founder of the organisation. To date, CLT is 12 years old, and from here it is obvious that only someone with a determination of steel will be able to not only grow but nurture a non-profit to be what it is today. It has been the greatest privilege to be able to work so closely with such an inspiring person. Working with her helped me to see her as a very humble and tough lady. She had accomplished more in life than many people her age, but she could still endear herself to young people like us. Despite the fact that it can be tiring when she makes changes to what we have been working on over and over again, I’ve never found it in me to complain about it because I am constantly grateful for the opportunity to work with such a special person. I truly learnt a great deal from her. Her patience, optimism, and humility is something which is worth emulating.

Malini joined CLT a few weeks after I did. Like me, she is a newcomer. I’ve never thought that a short foray into her home to borrow an adaptor could lead to an almost sisterly relationship. She is the one I air all my grouses to, and she has always been there tru all the good and bad days I had in India. Now that I have gastritis, she even asked her mom what I could take to relieve it! What a golden person. While my own housemates don’t even bother to ask about how I’m feeling, she sends me texts day and night to ask about how I feel. Today, she brought me a container of fresh veges, and went to the market to get mint leaves so that the lady who cooks for us can make mint juice (what her mom said I should drink) for me. Saying that I am touched is probably an understatement. I’ll never forget such a special person…and I do hope that she will find meaning in what she does in CLT, and that she’ll have a baby soon! She will be sorely missed when I return to Singapore.

Nazia is a youngster like me. She is one problematic person, having been diagnosed with OCD. Many people find her wierd and, honestly, in the beginning, I did too. Slowly tho, I realised that she is simply lost, and having been friend-less all this time, it probably caused her to be the wierd person she is . Afterall, ‘wierd’ is merely the result of not conforming to society. She calls me her ‘sister’, which I’ve never brought myself to say, not wanting her to get too attached. Afterall, I will be leaving soon, and this is sth I can’t change. She has been the nicest person too…bringing me medicines and text-ing me and all that when I’m not well. She was actually the person who kept saying ‘Don’t worry, no one can hurt you while I’m here’ after I got so paranoid as a result of the snatch theft incident. Maybe I felt safer too, owing to the fact that she is a boxer. Although my Sg’rean friend has said that she will delete her off FB, to me she is  someone I will never forget when I leave. Her ‘wierdness’ is what makes her who she is.

Latha and Vismitha are two people who abruptly walked out CLT this week. I am still confused why…altho this has made me realise that sometimes still waters do run deep. Latha is the first colleague who invited us to her house during a new year festival in April. I enjoyed my time there, and the only pictures on FB of me wearing a saree is testament of that. I will miss her kindness a lot. Vismitha left yesterday after a highly dramatic incident. I’ve chatted on countless occasions with her especially when we meet after work (she sits in another room, so I couldn’t talk to her at work), and altho she gave me the impression that she is a very sheltered young girl, she is a very nice person. She’s always gay and bubbly…and almost a fashionista! She’s one girl who loves dressing up! I will miss her too…and I hope that, even if she will have to marry a man her parents choose in the future, that man will be good for her.

Shree Devi is like my ‘mommy’ here. She takes care that we get proper meals, and she’s always asking after me. Sometimes I feel like calling her ‘auntie’ as this is more endearing than calling her by her name. She’s a wonderful person, very tall, with a dazzling smile. I love her smile. Ive had the opportunity to talk to her a few times, beyond work and the ‘what’s for breakfast tmr’ talk, and I realised that she hasn’t ever been out of Bangalore, and that she is a real mommy. She has kids who are as old as I am but she doesn’t look a day over 30! I wanna always stay pretty like she does =) I hope that the time I was here didn’t bring her too much of a trouble, and that she will miss me too (like I will).

All my other colleagues are people that I will miss too, altho, I feel that many will merely be part of some long-forgotten memory in the future. But then, this is life isn’t it? We close a chapter and move on to the next, and we take whatever good things we read about in the past chapter and learn from the bad.

In the end, all the different experiences will stay as a part of us, and that’s what makes each of us unique.

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Bharat Bandh

Yesterday was Monday, yet it was a state holiday. No, it is not because of some famous dead person’s birthday or even their National Day. It was a day when all shops were closed and all public transportations were halted in protest of the rise in fuel prices. They called it the ‘Bharat Bandh’, a state-sponsored strike. For me, it was simply another stay-at-home day…

Then I wondered…wouldn’t this affect the people who depend on their daily wage to survive every day? For example, the auto drivers would not have any income for the day. People who own small pushcart stalls and such would be affected as well. I wondered how they survived yesterday…and I wondered too, about the effectiveness of such a strike. Or is this simply something with a political agenda, since it was the opposition party who organised this. Oh well, I do hope that not too many people had to go hungry yesterday while the upper echelons of society who organised this strike feasted on good food in the comfort of their homes. And I do hope that the strike will bring about some change because rising fuel prices would cause everyday grocery items vital for the sustenance of many to increase in prices.

I have 3 more weeks here…exactly 21 days. How do I feel, I wonder? A cocktail of different feelings, I suppose. I’m not sure, sometimes, whether I’ll be happier  leaving or staying…

There is happiness that I will see my dearest friends and loved ones again. I miss my mom and my bro. I kinda miss my dad too. I miss my bestie and cant wait to do stuff with her and go try out all the food i miss with her. I miss fatty, and cant wait to see him again, and to explore Shanghai and Beijing and to try out all the food I’ve been hearing about with him. I miss my friends in Sg and Melaka, all who have been with me one way or another throughout all the good and bad times I had here in India. I miss all of you, and can’t wait to see you again…

There is also a slight sadness that I will be leaving some dear friends behind. I will miss the kindness of the people here, their hospitality. It is incredible how a complete stranger can let another hold her baby in an overcrowded bus. They probably never realised that they are teaching me a great deal about life.  I see strength in the most common of people here, and I derive strength from the fact that I have so much more, and shouldn’t complain. I learnt optimism and open-mindedness. Even the snatch-theft incident did teach me something – forgiveness.

Also, I will definitely miss the carefree life I lead here…a life without CORS, exams, assignments and many other responsibilities. It almost feels like the moment I reach Changi, my life would change in so many ways that it would be a different life altogether, and India would simply be a dream.

I will also definitely miss the authentic Indian food which I have come to love so well…my favourite being Idlis, chutney, vada, sambar, chappati, briyani, bisebelebath (a rice thingy), kababs, and all the food enjoyed by the common people here. One thing which I still can’t tolerate tho, is butter milk. It still tastes like milk gone bad to me =/ I’ve never thought of learning how to cook Indian food…and in fact, I’ve often considered such food my least favourite. But now, I find myself browsing through webpages and googling for Indian recipes, and for once, try to make sense of the long (and I mean…loooooong) list of ingredients and spices. I’m even worried that I wont be able to find the spices I would need when I return to Singapore. Also, whether you believe it or not, I’ve started googling for proper restaurants which offer Idlis and such in Little India since 2 months ago…although I have a feeling that it wont be the same. Better than nothing tho…=)

Isn’t this mouth watering? The breakfast I look forward to everyday!

I suppose we can’t have everything in life all at once. There is a time for everything, and while my time in India is almost up, I’ll cherish this experience forever, and move on to the next chapter of my life.

One thing for sure, tho, I’ll come back to India…after all, it is already a part of me…and I’m proud of that.

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