A piece of home

A piece of home

Having her parents in her ‘grown-up environment’ for a visit was a complete bliss

Sukriti Taneja

At one point in our lives, we have all experienced the adrenaline rush of racing back to our parents after spending considerable time apart. Be it a school field trip or visiting home on a college/work break, it is undoubtedly being around our parents that allows us to feel as though we are wrapped in a protected and relaxed warm blanket. The blanket is called love.

After moving abroad for my master’s, the luxury of visiting home became a far sight among the nuances of adulting. I would often find myself cribbing with dissatisfaction to my parents on the grounds of “Everyone’s parents come visit; why don’t you guys ever come?”

To be fair and considerate, “Haath ko aaya, par mooh ko nahi laga” (loosely translated “there is many a slip between the cup and the lip”) is probably the best way to explain the relationship between my Mother and her trip to this side of the world. While my Mother’s plans suggested otherwise, life had its own detours tucked away in the itinerary. Two cancelled trips later, I was convinced that physically sharing this part of my life with my parents was a far-fetched dream.

Golden opportunity

As the much-awaited summers approached the cold and primarily gloomy streets of the United Kingdom, so did good news. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab’s Sufi tour was coming to Manchester! Being the family of Sufi enthusiasts that we are, I knew there would be no better opportunity to lure my parents to the idea of a vacation. Upon to-and-fro discussions, hearing the sentence, “come up with a tentative itinerary, and let us know when you’re free, and we’ll be there,” felt absolutely unreal.

While the visa-stamped pages in their passports and the booked flight tickets resided comfortably amidst our family WhatsApp group, I stayed in complete disbelief until I caught a train on the 13th of July to go and receive my parents at the airport.

The Bollywood moment

Two dreams came true as I ran towards my mum’s open arms in the middle of the perpetually crowded Manchester Airport. One, I finally would get to spend time with my parents in my “grown-up environment”. Two, I finally had my typical Bollywood moment!

The three following weeks transcended beyond being a mere vacation and acted as therapy for my otherwise overwhelmed and anxious mind and body. Why? You may ask. Living alone and learning to carry ambiguity with grace as a 21-year-old is a much more daunting task than most would agree, me alike.

Hiding behind my veil of perfection in this fast-paced life, I had forgotten how to breathe and enjoy life as it is. The sadness trapped within my 13 sq meter room was replaced by laughter and refreshed perspectives. Our days were marked by shared breakfasts, leg pulling, lots of sightseeing, jam sessions in the car, somewhat notorious UNO matches and strolls across all the spots I would go looking for peace.

My worries and anxieties seemed to melt away in their company. It was as if the weight of adult responsibilities had temporarily lifted, and I could once again embrace the joys of being a child, seeking comfort and refuge in their presence. 

Invaluable role of family

There was no longer a need to act tough or independent constantly. While this trip was a rekindling between me and my parents, unknowingly, they helped me rekindle with myself, once again pushing me to embrace my vulnerability and acknowledging all the emotions I had put aside, much like the suitcases that once helped me transport my life 6850 miles away.

Not Leeds, London, Scotland, or Manchester could compete with the simplistic beauty of sitting with my parents in my living room, eating a meal I cooked, and watching an old-school Bollywood movie together. Looking over at their proud and smiling faces, a realisation sunk in. This was all the emotional support I could have ever asked for to navigate through this phase of my life. Their love, presence, and involvement gave me a renewed sense of purpose and motivation that reminded me of my family’s invaluable role in my life.

It is common knowledge that being around loved ones improves your psychological well-being. However, according to a study, travelling has also been found to improve one’s mental health by a striking 73 per cent.

Experiencing this two-in-one therapeutic combination of vacationing with my parents was complete bliss. I’d even dare to say that this therapeutic duo came very close to the satisfaction and joy one derives from the evergreen gulaab jamun and vanilla Ice-cream duo. My point is that both of them make life better.