Bawsey Country Park: Time Out

” Wow! It’s indeed, heaven.”
My words echoed in the woods as I spread out my arms, to embrace the beauty that surrounded me. My nostrils were filled with the fresh fragrance of nature, as I inhaled a large volume of air to fill in the depths of my alveolar sacs. A feeling of contentment invaded all my five senses.
While strolling through the narrow path between the trees, each step of mine imparted a perception of conquering the most dazzling scene of greenery and life encompassing me. My inner-being has been yearning for such a picturesque composition for a long time to wake up my brain cells to trigger the lost inspiration.
We galloped uphill in excitement, after a little while I started gasping for air.
” Hang on a moment”.
I paused, took a deep breath, and couldn’t help but ask,
” Why are we walking to the hill-I thought we meant to be going to the lakes?”
The sound of laughter that followed stupefied me. Of course, in the bustle of being out after a long while, none of us looked for the route but tracked the path that was just ahead. My other half halted for a moment and said,
“I think it is that little track we just came across a few seconds ago on the right-hand side.”
Elsa and I lingered reluctantly to take any further steps.
“Shall we wait here, and let them two find the right trail, and we follow.”
Elsa’s husband was busy capturing the eye-catching elegance of nature in his new lenses. As they proceeded ahead to the new route, we stayed behind quietly watching them waiting for their signal to resume. Since the parking ticket was for two hours, I peeked at the phone to check the time.
“We only got an hour left, we need to hurry up,” I yelled and turned my gaze to the two fellows who already reached a couple of meters ahead. Suddenly, we heard the response,
“Come on, you two, follow us.”
We hurried our footsteps to catch up with their pace, I should admit, the path was a challenge walking through. After a little while, I shifted my gaze from the ground to look forward. My eyes widened with ardent zeal, as I shouted in joy,
“Hurrah! Beautiful!”
The water looked so pure and crystal clear that I could see the lake- bed. I stood in a daze, watching the little ripples forming with the gentle breeze. Didn’t realise how much time I paused there, absorbing nature’s charm to my inner being. A swimmer was practising in the lake. He was trying various strokes and seen checking now and then in the timer and to evaluate his performance. My better-half was astounded by his show and was relishing his skills.
Elsa reminded us of the time, as her hubby was still busy enjoying the scene with his wide-angle lens, making memories. A few snapshots clicked, and my eyes followed the pine cones on the ground. My pride didn’t stop me collect a few of them, as to keep a souvenir, to recall this captivating moment.
As I walked back to the car, my eyes secretly glanced on them three cheerful faces of my lovely people and a sense of blissful satisfaction outpoured in my heart.

😊
Making Memories

~ Chinchu Gibu

❤️ here we go!!

P.C. Sumith Varghese 😊

CONFINED

“We reached the third day of our journey, and, to be honest, things were not going well.”

Sitting in the balcony of the luxurious two-bedroom apartment in Downtown, Dubai, I sadly thought about our broken marriage. It was our wedding anniversary in a few days. As previously planned, Alex and I flew to this beautiful destination to celebrate our fifth year of tying the knot. We met while pursuing our medical degree at the University of East Anglia nine years ago. Our passion for the subject drew us closer and spent more time together. We communicated with our eyes more than words. We fell in love, and we advanced further in our relationship. Everything was going well until the third year. As we focused on building our careers, neither of us realized when the distance grew between us.

Like any other lively young couple, we were also excited to step into making our family. During our first days of life together, we decided to create milestones of our relationship memorable. So, we planned to celebrate our fifth anniversary in Dubai, which was my dream place to visit in my bucket list. As for Alex, being a workaholic, he never had time for us. He has not even made an initiative to talk to me some kind words, or even touch me, in recent years. Our life was not less than strangers under the same roof.

The first day we landed at the International airport, we were exhausted by the long flight that we took the cab home straightway. I chose to stay indoors and watch the nightlife of Dubai from the balcony. The view of Burj Khalifa was indeed magnificent, as it lit up in its might in the evening. Alex did not seem keen to spend time with me. Instead, he met with a few of his childhood friends who worked there. Even though I felt disappointed, I eagerly waited for him to take the initiative to talk to me. We only needed a good conversation, but I felt uneasy and less confident.

We had an early breakfast on the second day at the restaurant in the hotel where we stayed. Then we moved to the lobby to wait for the cab we arranged for sightseeing. Meanwhile, I saw a beautiful figure approaching us, a young woman in her thirties, smiling at Alex. He was pleasantly surprised seeing her, they greeted themselves by shaking their hands. In their excitement, I felt like a third person in their conversation, as they failed to recall my presence. Though I felt awkward, my eyes were still on their hands. They were still holding each other’s hands after the handshake. My insecurity conquered my brain, I could not help but feel jealous. But instantly, Alex let go of her hand, when he saw me staring at it. As though he forgot something, he introduced her to me as his classmate in Grammar school. Soon, the cab arrived, he waved goodbye to his old schoolmate and walked towards the entrance of the hotel. The day just passed as we strolled around the busy city of Dubai. The weather was extremely unbearable; the heat completely drained our energy. We both went to rest after a long day in the sun.

We woke up around mid-morning the next day, and we ordered some lunch instead of breakfast. Alex went for a shower, getting prepared for another outing with friends. I wished if I could save the marriage; however, he did not seem bothered. I returned to the room and took the remote control of the television. To get over my thoughts and boredom, I randomly pressed the button for anything interesting to watch. The headline flashing in the news channel struck my eyes. As a result of the worldwide pandemic, Dubai is going on lock-down until further notice. Alex, who walked out of the shower room, came and sat beside me, anxiously looking at the television. We looked at each other puzzled. We realized we are confined to this unknown space in an unfamiliar land to uncertainty.

“We are stranded here, what now?”, Alex exclaimed. The anxiety was evident in his face.

Both of us were staring at the news for so long that our eyes started hurting. I got up to make myself a cup of tea. As I put the kettle on and grabbed a coffee mug, I looked back at Alex. He responded with a meaningful look, and said, “And one for me as well please, with no sugar and a drop of milk.” His response took my thoughts to a few years back to our college days. Then, we sat together to study in my room, and he always wanted me to make his cup of tea. Unlike my milky tea, he still had his with very little milk in it. It appears that his taste never changed.

I brought him his drink, handed over to him, then took my seat beside with my cuppa. As he took the first sip, he appeared lost, with his mind miles away. As though a strange feeling of warmth streamed passed his inner being–a sense of long-lost passion that drove his mind to the past. I was his Oxygen once upon a time and now look at him. He chose to stay busy, and I remained quiet all this while. “But why?” His magnetic voice suddenly sounded in the room. I looked up to his eyes, and I sank myself in his gaze. I stood silent, as always it spoke louder than my words. He pulled me to his embrace and placed a kiss on my forehead. He held me tightly and whispered in my ears, “I am sorry.” At this moment, we both were on the same page of the book.

At this moment, my heart cried out, “I did not know for how long I waited for this, I only needed you to look at me, spare me some time. That is all I wanted. I did not want to be a hindrance in pursuing your dream, so I chose to be silent. But I am glad that you heard my cry.” As I opened my mouth, none of these words formed a voice, and I gently said,

“I love you, Alex. Happy Anniversary to us.”

Though I nearly lost my hope on this third day, my destiny took a quantum leap, so I eventually found my way to his heart. Being confined allowed us to rethink and reflect. As I look back, I understand that we were not in the wrong. It is just that we both traveled in different directions of life. I realized I was diving deep waters to find him, while he was soaring like an eagle higher in the clouds. So, I decided, to remain on the same page,

“I’d rather be a bird than a fish.”

It’s your life that matters..

It was a beautiful Sunday morning, after a wet and miserable week. However, I was extremely disturbed by the news headline I saw that popped up on my phone’s News Feed: a talented Bollywood actor committed suicide. According to statistics cited in the World Population Review website (2020), India ranks 21st in suicidal rates. I wonder why our youngsters rely on escaping from situations in life rather than stand up to it and boldly face it.
Right, I could guess your thoughts. How do I know what a person is going through until I walk in their shoe? Of course, each problem is unique, and I respect it.
I am not a fan of news channels. I hear news accidentally, especially when my other half watches it and am around. However, I realize that the number of unpleasant news I hear, like cases of suicides, murders, and rapes are increasing day by day. It makes me think and worry about our society. It proves that we are, or we are raising a generation of mentally unhealthy and socially irresponsible beings. It is high time to focus vigorously in Mental Health from the grassroots levels.
i.e., The mental growth and development of a person begin from the moment a human takes form in the mother’s womb. As from what I read and learned, the mental health of the mother hugely impacts the baby. A child starts to learn life from home before they join the school. The environment they are raised, the people around, and their ways of dealing with life are some of the external factors that mold a child’s mind. Mental Health is to be considered vital in our curriculum to build healthy individuals. Even though some schools have it, most times it is a namesake activity. I am not a scholar to talk on this subject in detail, however being a health professional as well as a human being, I genuinely feel that many people out there need help.
When I look at our grandparents and parents, they are a morally strong and emotionally stable generation based on relationships and faith. Times have changed ever since as an era of technology, and science stepped in. We became more friendly with devices and equipment than people. But why blame technology? Are we humans any less? It seems the human factor of human beings is getting mutated. Nobody has time to care. Even if somebody care, they are taken advantage of by others. And some people get pleasure digging other’s wounds. I believe that every life matter, and their every feeling matters. Sometimes, it only needs a hand to hold, an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, a tissue to wipe those tears, or as little as a few words of encouragement.
It is okay to fail; there is no successful person on earth who has not tasted failure at least once. Your failure can help you refine yourself to become better.
It is okay to cry, only with the first cry after birth, that we took our first breath to live. People see crying as a weakness, but it is indeed a strength that you are strong enough to acknowledge your weakness.
It is okay to fall; no one learned to walk without falling. You got the choice to get up and walk again to your goal, no matter how many times you fall.
It is okay to feel angry when you are deceived by the person you loved the most; you do not have to pretend, scream your heart out until you feel free.
Life has not been trouble-free to anybody; everyone has their fair share of good, bad, and worse to deal with. It is never too late to seek help. It could be anyone, be it friends, family, or professionals. Even if they may not be able to solve a problem, they could help to deal with it or seek the right assistance.
“End of the day, it’s your life that matters.”

~ Chinchu Gibu

N.B. With prayers in heart, I think of those souls, who didn’t manage to get the right help at the right time, when their minds struggled before losing themselves..

My Feline Visitor

A black cat jumps my garden fence every evening and walks to my neighbour’s house. It is a regular occurrence that I have got used to by now. Its exquisite features make it different from an ordinary domestic black cat. Just below its neck, it has a heart-shaped white patch of fur. Moreover, the whiskers and paws are white too. Its beautiful shiny eyes glow like diamonds, especially in the dark. One winter evening, a few months ago, when I came back from work, as I parked my car and turned off the engine, everything was pitch black, but I saw a pair of glimmering eyes staring at me like the burning lava in an active volcano. It was scary, but magnificent too.

On another day I wanted to take a picture of it, so I decided to use my phone. I took the first click, but it saw me. It slowed down its pace and looked cautiously at me. I took gentle steps forward so that I would not frighten it, and so I could get a closer shot. It stared at me with a sharp gaze, and I thought that it was going to run away. But it surprised me with an explicit pause. As I finished my task, it slowly walked pass by me.

I thought to myself, “What a clever being, you understood my intentions and acted on them.”

The cat has a routine, and I often think about whether it goes out to chill with its friends, or to hunt rodents. The way it walks, it looks so powerful and independent. I do wonder whether it has a home or not; I have not seen a collar or tag on its neck. If a black cat runs in front of you while you are going somewhere it is considered bad luck. Even though people say this, I believe this is a myth. The poor little thing has no idea that people make it a villain by turning it into something out of a horror movie.

I keenly wait every day while I am at home for my four-legged guest to turn up, as it is my only regular visitor in these restricted lock-down times.

~ Chinchu Gibu

A Birthday Celebration During Lock-down

It was the bank holiday weekend. For me, it was another day at work to look forward. Following my morning medication rounds, I made a cup of tea and came to the nurse’s station for a short break. I prefer to take my breaks in the station so that I can have my ears on the call bells.
While I was sipping my drink, I happened to peek in the bedroom opposite. An elderly lady in her nineties sat in a delta chair near her bedroom window. She looked elegant with her light brown sparkly top. Her beautiful serene eyes appeared to have stuck to the most anticipated view outside, which made her lips curl up with a sweet smile. My line of vision followed her gaze, and it stopped at the person standing on the other side of the window- her daughter.
She did not see her daughter since the lock-down measures were in place, except for the video calls she made. It is her birthday today, but unfortunately, she cannot celebrate it with family in the usual way. Even though they are near to each other, they are indeed far away. The separation of the window seems enormous, unlike the physical distance. She has been extremely disappointed that she cannot give a warm hug to her daughter. As her daughter speaks to her, the old lady keeps smiling. Suddenly she asks, “When am I able to be with you?” She sounds pitiful.
Her daughter is patiently explaining to her about the uncertain situation of the virus outbreak, which is prevailing outside and successfully manages to hold back her mother’s tears. However, it was difficult to determine how much she understood. Both their eyes are misted, but the staff who accompany her mom try to cheer them up with kind words of hope. The scene is beautiful but painful to watch.
After a conversation of a few minutes, the daughter wishes her mother a Happy Birthday, blows her some kisses, and bids her farewell. She hands over the cards, flowers, and chocolates to the staff, who help the lovely old lady to look at them. She is so eager to go through the card.
Meanwhile, another visitor is by the window, her favorite grandson. He brings her a three-layered raspberry lemon cake and a watercolor painting done by her great-grandchildren. As though remembering something, she asks, “When am I going to dance with you?”. He tried to reassure her and says, “Hopefully, next time.” After the brief visit and wishes, the grandson also leaves his place by the glass.
*
Later, the staff led the old lady to the communal lounge, welcomed by a Happy Birthday Jingle, and a delicious birthday cake. As she blew out the candles, the gloomy face wore a smile once again and heartily thanked the fellow residents and the staff. As I captured those scenes in our in-house camera, I said to myself, “it is indeed a rewarding job we do.”
To bring a smile to a sorrowful heart.

~ Chinchu Gibu

Picture Credits: https://images.app.goo.gl/ApogqQhsPdbDNTdC9

On My Way Home..

It is about 14 miles drive from work to home, which roughly takes half an hour driving. It is indeed a long way for me that gives enough time to relax a stressful mind after a hectic day. The scenic elegance is truly at its pinnacle in this route from Norwich to Long Stratton.

The fields, the greens, the farms, and the wildlife, make it lively and rich on a summer evening. I drive through the same path several times a week, still, I enjoy the ride each day and every day I pass by.

This evening, on my way back from work, I had to push the gas hard when this brown rabbit suddenly decided to hop in front of me, with no intention to move away. I was a bit scared if I will hurt him, so I moved forward carefully and hesitantly. As I slowly moved ahead, I saw him jumping about in the background, in my rearview mirror.

Passing by the poppy blossoms every day imparts a sense of warmth in my heart. It is indeed the most beautiful scenery that I pass by on my way home. It is said that poppy symbolises peace, sleep and death, but to me it portrays the vibrant colors of nature’s beauty to the core.

Though it’s a single carriageway, i prefer to drive slowly so I could absorb the elegance around me as I pass by. Driving solo with a romantic Bollywood track in the background through nature’s lap is indeed a beautiful feeling that lifts your spirits, by revitalising your soul.

As I turned to our residential area, I saw a few couples walk by hand in hand, enjoying the graceful evening sun, which still hasn’t kissed the horizon yet. As I parked my vehicle in my driveway, I escaped to my little nest to rest relax and rejuvenate my soul. Much Love ❤️

~ Chinchu Gibu

❤️

A Little Surprise ❤️

What a beautiful morning! The sunshine was brushing in through my bedroom curtains. Though I was awake, I still lay down for a while reading some random articles and listening to writing advise from Jerry Jenkins. Suddenly, a Whatsapp message popped on the top of the screen.

”Are you guys free?”

A message from my dearest friend, Romy in Brisbane, Aussie appeared. A video call with no alert followed it. I knew there was something unusual about this call. Otherwise, she wouldn’t just randomly call me in this hour. I arose from the bed instantly and got to my shape and form to return the call.

My call got attended quickly. Two lovely people appeared on the screen. Romy and Prathibha, I knew for some reason that Romy had a surprise this time. I’ve seen Prathibha after 13 years, to be precise, the first time after leaving nursing school. Indeed my pleasure to meet her again. They were just having a family gathering.

And of course, now I also became a part of it, even though I was miles away, on the opposite side of the globe.

We had a pleasant conversation. I could see the two pairs of eyes, watching me closely and making comments.

They said to each other, ”She is still the same, hasn’t changed much, has she?”

They both seemed joyful in teasing me on my love for chocolates. I was indeed fond of chocolates. But for some reason, I effortlessly removed all these memories from my heart a long time ago, blame my selective memory. Is it because life changed or priorities changed? I don’t have an answer to it.

I enjoyed every bit of the dialogue we had. Life has changed, but we remain the same at heart. In this little time, we spoke about ourselves, our families, lockdown and what not.

”Can that happen, that we ever lack topics to discuss? ” No way.

I love surprises once in a while, and this was a beautiful one to start my day. Thanks, guys, you don’t know how much these little things matter to me—Much Love.

~ChinchuGibu

A Screen Shot from WhatsApp call❤️

Picture Credits: Caption picture credits to Google images.

It was worth a try …

My friend reminded me of Jalebi today. She is a cooking freak for good. During this lockdown period, herself and her hubby cook and plate a new dish each day and send me beautiful pictures of it. Their cooking and plating skills are just awesome.

Today’s topic was the star of sweets, Jalebi, Of course my favourite, the first one my eyes search for in any bakery/ sweet shop I go, while in India. The colour itself makes it so pleasing to the eye, and once you take a bite, that’s it, it just melt in your mouth, and takes you to the next level of satisfaction..For me it is the most romantic and appetising sweet dish to consume.

I did try to make it myself this afternoon, I would rather not mention the outcome. It honestly didn’t taste as it should be doing. I only know that I tried, but unfortunately, neither the taste nor the looks were pleasing to the eye or to the mouth.. I just accepted the failure this first time. Though my attempt failed, I happily thought, It was worth a try ..

Real Jalebis look like this 😊
Picture Credits: to google images..

~ Chinchu Gibu

HOME SWEET HOME

Home, the thought that conquered me this morning as I woke up… When will I be home again.? To the place my heart longs to escape to. Indeed, the thought of home starts in there, where my soul lies. The home where my little feet took the first steps to the journey to my destiny. The place that takes me back to my childhood. And childhood to me is all the memories of my maternal home and grandparents The home where I saw abundance of love that belonged in the universe wrapped in two human figures, my grandparents, (who I fondly called my Appachen and my Ammachi). The most carefree days of my life belonged there. The hymn songs my Ammachi recited and the bedtime stories of Jonah and Noah and Elijah, which was repeated almost every night, but I listened to it every time as though the first time… 

The beauty of the home not only lies on the people who live there. But every little thing that surrounds it and that binds it makes it whole. Each brick on the walls of my home indeed had a story and every piece of wood and metal in their witnessed me grow. Every little flower, the bushes and the trees has seen imprints of my hands and the trail of my footprints embedded in the soil there. I like to see the soul of my home as my Ammachi and the home itself and everything that comes along with it as my Appachen. The bush of the jasmine flower, the red hibiscus plant, the tamarind tree, the brindle berry tree, the bilimbi tree, the nutmeg tree, the mango tree, the coconut trees, the banana trees and the evergreen pomelo trees in the back yard and the various other trees and plants my Appachen planted, that surrounded the home made the habitat richer with nature.

Today everything looks different, as my grandparents left, I realize what a lovely scenic, rich memories they left me in my heart to cherish all my life. Today the glimpse of any of the image mentioned above passes by my vision field or the jingles of the similar hymns I heard as a child comes in my ears, it takes me back to childhood. Every scene of those beautiful days is engraved in my soul, with no fade in its glory. I look back today to see that every bit of me is like a piece of the jigsaw carefully joined in the right place by their utmost love and care, the same way they built their beautiful home. Today every good thing happens in my life, I look above as my heart says to me that you are watching me from above, smiling at me. And in every trials of my life, I know you shed your tears and pray for me to God to keep me safe. Much Love…

~Chinchu Gibu

[N.B. Picture credit: images via google, collaged]

Reminiscing with Ice-cream Jingles

The Jingles of the Ice Cream van was heard in a distance. I felt the excitement of a child as I drew the curtain of the lounge. I happily peeped through the window to the place I heard the music, to only find the pink colored vintage van parked outside my neighbor’s house. It has been a long while, I had an Ice Cream Cone. It is not that am a great fan of Ice Creams, but today I felt I want to have one. I quickly grabbed some pound coins from my purse and ran out to buy my little sweet treat for the day. I really wished my other half were not at work today, so he could join me. Because he is the one who loves Ice Cream more than I do, and I enjoyed his company. A few of my neighbors came out too. Of course, we practiced a good social distancing. And finally, it was my turn. I bought myself a medium cone ice cream with a stick of flaky chocolate. I also bought a Magnum White bar for my hubby, so he can have it once he is back from work. After I buy my frozen treat, I stood there watching the van move forward, and remained there until it was out of my sight. I walked back to our home, place his Ice cream bar carefully in the freezer. Then, I came to my living room and turned the telly on. As I slowly enjoyed the sweetness, I was reminiscing my memories of those days I enjoyed having Ice cream with friends and family. Every time I had an ice cream, either I had my friends or my family beside me, at least someone was around to share the joy. Did I ever think that one day I will be sitting in my living room on my own enjoying an Ice Cream myself, with no one beside to accompany and share the melodiousness of this little joy. I wish hard for the life on earth to be back to COVID-free and normal, so we do not have to accept the current state as the new normal.

~ChinchuGibu