The photos posted here and below are from our recent trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its the country closest to us here in Pune, India, that offers awesome beaches, tons of outdoor and indoor playgrounds, water activities, well-tended green spaces, etc. (things we don’t find here easily) We really wanted to manifest something along the lines of our NJ existence without having to go too far. And amazingly it all came together beautifully. I lived there from the age of 2.5 till 16 and then went back and forth for vacations. My parents just retired after living there for 33 years to Bangalore, India. I love Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Our cousins were such wonderful, generous hosts… our family and friends rock!
Zoya did tricks on the monkey-bars that she’s not had a chance to do here. She jumped right into a game with some 4-5 year old children who were sharing a game of Zingo. I watched how she managed to join in so seamlessly and sat and observed the game and took her cues from the children around her. She really surprised me that day. We were visiting friends whose home is in the midst of a most amazing community. Large green spaces, gated security, supermarkets, restaurants, school within bicycling distance, playgrounds, bbq pits, homes with gardens that face common areas, etc. just a lovely place to hang out with kids. Nice to give them the freedom to explore alone. so some of the photos are from there. Raghu loved hanging out with Neel and enjoyed playing his DS Nintendo with him. Another older friend of Neel’s seemed to really inspire Raghu to play war games around the playground. It was fun to watch.
The various kids we met, played with, stayed with were Kuhu, Shashank, Neel, Jai, Sumedh and Soumya (pre-teen actually 😉 Zoya and Raghu enjoyed the couple of times Ravi and I were both at the beach with them. The beautiful blue waters and clean beaches were an absolute delight. The weather was cool adn breezy. We got the last few days of winter weather.
Raghu enjoyed Sumedh’s company a lot and shared some wonderful firsts on the Wii, Ben10 games, Arcade games, indoor playgrounds etc. raghu loved the indoor climbing wall…. he was strapped into a harness and he went up like a cat! He enjoyed this the most he says. He scale the wall in no time and was quite adept at coming back down himself too. I hope to manifest something like this for him soon.
More on the trip as i get time…
Z has a cold and needed lots of down time with me this evening. And R and R have gone to Bangalore for 2 nights… Big R for work and little R for some fun with Grampies and Aunt’n’uncles. So after Z finally slept around 11ish… i was wide awake.. sleep had passed me by.
I watched the final 3 episodes of Sex and the city. I remembered how much i used to enjoy this show… BC (before children) i.e. Anyway… it took me back in time… when Ravi and I would enjoy the show late into the night. We lived in Hackensack, NJ then. And i got my masters and worked in NYC. It was one heck of a glam city. My office then rented space in the very building that housed Playboy and Gucci. We basically had fashion in our face all the time.
Given that Raghu has recently started to style his hair and loves his lovely long locks (longer than his sister’s… she asked me to cut hers recently!)… i really enjoyed seeing all the different looks of Samantha, Carrie etc in SATC.
Raghu used the word ‘Style’ recently in reference to something i was wearing. He also asked several questions about why some folks grow their hair adn some dress up all the time and some pierce their ears and nose etc.. Lots of fashion, style questions. Z for the most part prefers to dress like her brother… and sometimes will ask for frocks adn high heels… mine of course. Lipstick and perfume are big for her these days. she is very keen on dupattas. Loves them… i have to cut some up in half so they don’t trail on the floor behind her. She wears them on all her outfits.. even if they are not indian outfits.
Z and I enjoyed our day despite her missing R and R a lot. She is so connected to her brother and father. She told me lots of little stories about her playdates, time with Ravi, some mixed with snippets from the “Snoopy come home” video that she was watching. She has become more aware of her body…. she knows she is taller too as she can reach the Door bell standing on her toes these days. She will be 3 in a week. Amazing how far she has come. When we got her from the orphanage, aged 9 months, she held/chewed her lower lip a lot … it was her thumb-sucking equivalent. And now she barely does it and is such a go getter…not shy at all. She is our laughing, tall, busy, talkative, cheery, tapping, expressive, loving baby. I love her so much.
As usual Scott Noelle has expressed succinctly what i would need 4 paragraphs to….
Today, try letting go of the idea that conditions
“should” be different than they are. Simply accept
“No problem… It is what it is.”
But don’t confuse acceptance with defeat. You can be
accepting and still desire change. And change happens
*easily* when you’re at peace with What Is.
Seems like being able to truly enjoy the moment has so many shades of meaning… i’m still discovering them. All my life i’ve been trained to think in terms of altering things to make myself happy. So looking at it as ‘we are where we need to be already” means i need new neural pathways to accept it completely 🙂 (Many thanks to Josha, Dayna, Scott and others who share their journeys.)