Monday, June 14, 2010

A dream of a middle class Indian girl...

I have been wanting to share my story of my travel to USA with my friends for a long time now but have been procrastinating actually doing it but the now I have a reason to do it for the contest on Jiyo Life moments on Indiblogger. This cannot be said in one blog so I am going to dedicate a few blogs for this happy moments in the life of me and my kids.
Paula started it with the story she sent to my daughter. Now you can see how this all started....

I fell in love with cartoons a long long time ago.. and I am still deeply in love with them. My childhood was filled with dreams of playing with Mickey, Donald, Tom and Jerry etc. Once I read about a land called Disney World where you could be in the world of fairy tales, cartoons etc. Naturally I wanted to go there immediately but then, it is an impossible dream for a middle class Indian girl who had never been outside Karnataka.
Though impossible I never threw out my dream … I held on to it. I grew up got married and had children. Then I realized there had been additions to my dream. I wanted to visit Disney World with my kids. Even then it was near impossible dream for a middle class Indian woman who lived in small house in rural India without running water, washing machine T.V. or any other basic necessities which is more needed than a foreign travel.
I always said the word impossible itself says I- M- Possible. Why should I not hold on to it.
Life goes on… and it goes on a very bumpy road. I had cancer, I survived, lost my mother and sister to cancer, went through depression etc etc.. but the thread of the dream was always there in my hand, entangled with my fingers.
When I felt very lonely I tried to reach out to people for sharing my pain of dealing with cancer. People reached out to me and for some reason they were from other part of the globe. We got close and one of my sister of hearts bonded with my kids through webcam. My daughter fell in love with Paula aunty.
Once when we were discussing our dreams on support board I mentioned my dream of visiting Disney World. Paula told us that if we could travel to Florida then we could stay with her. The dream was just plane tickets, passport and visa away now. Disney World was not the whole attraction for us now. We had good friends to meet in USA. Meeting them meant much more than meeting the cartoons.
MONEY was the biggest problem.. Unfortunately we and our friends had big dreams and big hearts with quite small purse. So first the question was from where to arrange the money. Our house needed a renovation but we decided to skip it for the sake of our USA trip. The biggest miracle was my husband agreeing to send us to USA and also arrange the money ( off course by skipping the renovation or precisely the much needed repairs)
. Then came the question of getting our passports. It got done too. For that I had to collect my TC from college after 22 years. LOL. We had soothsayers everywhere and they were predicting our future for free. All were of the opinion that it was nearly impossible for us to get visa for USA. To add to our woes my kids (both of them) got chicken pox two days before we were supposed to leave for our interview to the US embassy and the interview had to be postponed.
Finally when we arrived, we were nervous but the people at the embassy were too nice. The person who interviewed us abruptly cut the interview short and told us we could go. We were shocked and thought we have been refused visa but he assured us he had no problem sanctioning visa to us… He could see the joy on our faces as we did not hide it. My friends had written wonderful letters to the embassy pleading with them to grant us visa and I treasure that even now.. I know I am not going to be praised that highly ever in my life again. At least not by Duffy Mathias in the way she had done in the letter to the embassy.
Paula and me discussed about many things and among them was her pet dogs who she told us would leap on us to greet us. Farheena was terrified of dogs and we had to find a way to deal with this. The brainwashing began with showing Farheena the pics of dogs and telling her how different they were from the street dogs we have here. We traveled by train to Mumbai and there we had already arranged for a taxi driver from our native village to pick us up. He was waiting for us at the railway station but the VT station was too big for Farheena to cover the distance and get to the Taxi stand. There was no wheel chair available. The coolie came up with the idea of making her sit on top of our luggage. Farheena gave us a strong NO!. We asked her to decide whether she wanted to meet Paula aunty or not. She quietly got on top of the suitcases. I tried to take a picture of her but could not get a clear picture because everyone was hurrying. Me and Rayyan had tough time not laughing at the sight but if we laughed out loud we knew there would be two murders that night.
We went a bit sight seeing in Mumbai. By then we had seen that someone was working miracles for us and everything was being laid down perfectly for us to tread on and reach our destination. At 4 a.m. we were on board of Emirates and were flying towards NYC. Could not believe I was visiting USA with my two kids but I was… I was going to FL, the state where Disney World was but we were not excited about it as we were about meeting our friends there.
To be Continued.


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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