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Sunday, 9 August 2015

Playing the Fool

We were told that we can use our phones on the plane, but though I turned my phone back on, and even WhatsApped my brother, I did so with the conviction that we will crash.
We are flying to Istanbul. This is our third trip there with our kids. The first time around, Ali was just two and Zara was growing in my belly, undiscovered by anyone, even myself. Ali has no recollection of visiting Topkapi, where a handsome Turkish man, delighted at discovering that they shared a name, picked Ali up, and carried him around the library.
The next visit was two years back, on route to my brother's wedding in Lahore, Pakistan. Both children recall this trip. They narrate to anyone who gives them a ear, that our hotel was terrible; the room tiny with no walking space, the window drafty, the blankets threadbare, the bathroom moldy, and finally, that Ali lost his footing on the slippery, winding staircase and rolled all the way to the bottom. They forget to mention the much nicer hotel, which we stayed at, on the way back or the beauty of the city.
This time, we are meeting up with my sister, my cousin, and their families in Turkey. We spend three days together in Istanbul, then the four of us, fly to Izmir from where we rent a car and drive to Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya and then Alanya. We have rented a villa in Alanya where we will all spend a week together.
I admire the generosity of spirit with which, both my sister's husband and my cousin's husband, agreed to this two week trip with people whom to them are little more than strangers, just so that we may reconnect and that our children might form a bond with each other.
Modern technology is fabulous. Where we live in distant lands, and have scarce opportunity to meet up, phones and computers help us stay in touch. Still the thought of seeing my loved ones in flesh after so long, makes me tear up. I am a sentimental sort, emotional and silly, but this affection makes me happy and for that, I would gladly play the fool any day.
Would be such a shame if the plane crashes now before they have even served the in-flight meal.

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