it has been months since I have written anything or even visited my blog site. A lot has happened in the world since , it has been rocked with a virus, a lot of people have lost their loved ones and we all have been left with a lot of time on our hands in a lock down.
Being on my own I was able to spend a lot of time thinking, what else do you do.when the outside world is suffering , with a lot of negatives, disease, unemployment and racism. Sometimes it feels safer to retreat in yourself, look inwards and try and retrieve a bit of solace if you can. I have been doing just that,
Dire though my childhood was, full of neglect, anger and rejection I had to dig deep to find positives and there are some, however negative something is one can find a tiny bit which you can turn it your advantage.
Before I get to the positive let tell you something I learnt last month. A long last Aunt, my fathers step sister who was much younger than him lives in Pakistan, I haven’t seen her since I was a child, a long time ago. She, or rather her daughter manages to get in touch with me and with the magic of one of the free phone apps we had a very long chat.
When I was growing up, we all lives in a very large house, my parents lived upstairs , halfway down the stairs was my bedroom and downstairs where my paternal grand father , my step grandmother and their two young daughters lived, one of which is the Aunt , now an elderly lady, am talking about.
During our various conversations she happened to remark that all the years when we lived together and I was growing up, she has never seen my mother ever cuddle me or even have me close to her, I had two Ayahs or nannies who looked after me , washed ,dressed and fed me and even slept in the same room with me. In India children either sleep with their parents ,sibling or with a carer, a child never sleeps alone.
Now this was not something I didn’t know, after all I lived and grew up, knowing that my parents didn’t have time for me and my mother especially rather not have anything to do with me, I have given up trying to find an answer for it, and when my parents did reconciled with me and reminded me that it was my duty to care for them , not physically as I lived in England but financially. I duly obliged.
But hearing this from an eyewitness did bring it home to merit was like I have been punched in the stomach. It was a long time ago, I thought I have moved on in life; made myself a good life and have raised my own children with some success; so there was no need to be affected by this remark or the memory of it. But it was quite painful, maybe because like everyone else I was feeling vulnerable , edgy and frightened to some extent. But I kept thinking of it for days. It is strange how much your childhood or rather the memory of it stays with you.It never leaves you,
Anyway that aside , I was going to tell you the positives I have found from my neglected and rathe bleak childhood.
I didn’t know I was ever going to come to the UK, but growing up , if anything animated my father ws the mention of this country. As I rarely ever used to see him and our meetings used to be rather brief, but sometimes in the evenings when he has had his one whiskey and soda before dinner or when in the heat of the summer ,when we sat out on the veranda , where the gardener would have sprinkled water on to the hot earth and made sure the pots of Jasmine and roses were nearby, the heat will spread the scent rather strongly , and my father would sit there a bit longer.
I will see my chance and ask him about England. His eyes used to light up as he indulged me , telling me the stories about his days in Cambridge, the beauty of the place, how wonderfully it functioned and how civilised the people are, and of course he never ever said anything negative , even the weather was never blamed for anything, he used to say he never felt the cold, and used to go out in the evenings just wearing his silk shirt and a Blazer and he will just go on, longing for this country. It is true that he never settled back in India,never succeeded in everything and never really was entirely happy with his marriage to my mother .
So I grew up loving England from an early age, to me this was a land of true hope and glory.Where people were civilised, they respected the laws and abided by the rules and so on.
When I did come to the UK , I was full of admiration and awe , I have found the I have heard so much about ,so I just did my best in whatever I had to do, I never thought people will resent me or dislike me, because I like everyone! May be I was naive; I was very young and impressionable.
In todays climate when there is said to be so much racism , I keep saying I have never met any, and people think am either stupid or am just making things up! May be I didn’t recognised or differentiated if someone was being racist to me? Could be because I took it for granted that if someone was rude to me or didn’t like me, then they just didn’t. There are people I didn’t like not because of their religion or colour or where they came from but just because they irritated me.
I know this is too simplistic an explanation, I do not doubt people have been distressed or who have faced racism ,am sorry for them . I didn’t but then may be I have lived a charmed life.
May be it helps if you like a country ,just love it like a fairy story so when you are lucky enough to go there you just dont see anything wrong with it ever. That certainly is my story. The other day a family on the tv was interviewed ,telling us how they have been racially discriminated. The conclusion was that the whole county was racist. I protested and told how dare I doubt their story, I don’t, but I have lived in the same county for more that 48 or so years, worked, raised a family and have done a lot of voluntary work, should my experience count for something? I have so many friends here and none of them are Asians
Well, so I was telling you about the positive to have come out of my childhood, I acquired a love for the country ,where unbeknown to me I was going to spend my life and love it.
I have met friendship, respect and recognition, my children have been successful and have had the best education in the world, we have worked hard and have been rewarded for it and I have life long friendships which I cherish.
So you see that is my positive ,every cloud as they say has a silver lining , and I must say if you have respect and love for a country you dont look for negatives and often you never find them.
I can categorically say that.