Letter mirrors


A few years ago, when my Dad passed away, and my mom was clearing out some old stuff, she chanced upon a bundle of letters that I had written to my parents, when I was in my twenties and  working in London.

She had preserved them carefully, organized by date; each letter safely tucked in its original envelope. The envelopes had frayed edges, where my parents would have opened or torn them to get to my letters.

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          Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

A few days later, when I visited my mom, she asked me if I wanted to keep the letters, because they were filled with my everyday observations of London (one of my favourite cities), to my dreams and aspirations, and lots of photos and humourous observations. Of course, every letter was an outpouring of love to my parents, my aunt, my sisters and to my adorable niece, who was 2 months old then.

I took the letters with me, and sat down to read them. I must have had lots of time, especially in winter, for no letter was shorter than 14 pages!

Through those letters, I relived my life in its twenties. I could see that young woman, with so many dreams and aspirations, looking at her future and its immense possibilities.

I loved reliving London, with its tube stations, and the weather, and the long walks I often took. I remembered the scones and jacket potatoes. I remember how many books I read on my trips in the tube. I learnt so many, many things. I travelled, I walked and I read.

I fast forward to the now. How have I changed? Lots of things are still the same, but I have mellowed. I am a wife now, a mom now. My priorities are quite different.

Many of those dreams are still inside, waiting to be realized, maybe after the kids go to university.

Life was independence, fun, young and filled with lots of possibilities ‘then’.

Life is dependence, love, ageing and filled with dreams and possibilities for the family ‘now’.

Different phases, both beautiful. Wouldn’t trade either.

Enid Blyton & A Cafe in London


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Image courtesy -Wikipedia -Scones

Many years ago, I was on a work assignment in London. Every weekend, I tried to see something of the city, and soon fell in love with it. With the city tour guidebook, I checked out some of the recommended walking trails.

A few days before my trip to London, when I’d come to know that I would be travelling, I made a list. More about that later.

It was another grey and cold English day, as I set out to the Kew Gardens, on one of my weekend walking trails. I spent a wonderful morning at the gardens. By noon the skies had darkened and rain was imminent.

I decided to head back. On the way, I was stopped by the delicious smells of freshly baked cakes and bread from a small roadside cafe.

I decided to go in for a quick bite and checked to see if my list was still in my wallet.

A cheerful looking woman took my order. I showed her my list. I asked her if they served  any of the items on the list – scones, hot chocolate with whipped cream, roasted jacket potatoes, strawberries with cream.

She smiled and asked me why I wanted those specific items. I replied that I’d grown up on Enid Blyton and that the things on my list, featured in most of her books.

My sisters and I had decided that whoever visited England first, would try out those delicious items,  and write back to the others.

She laughed and told me that they had fresh scones and hot chocolate with cream.

I struck two items off my list, feeling foolish and happy at the same time.

The scones and hot chocolate were yummy, especially the cream.

Just as I left the cafe, the lady gave me a small paper bag and said, “Some scones for you to take away, with our compliments.”

I was so touched.  It was a long and happy day – from favourite childhood books to a cafe in London and the sweet gesture of the lady.

I completed the rest of my list before I left London, but definitely look forward to getting started on a new list, this time, with my children.