I started on my journey this time with no preconceived notions, with no high expectations from any variable, adjustable, inflexible or rigid elements which may or could have come into play in my travel. The only exciting element as I took the flight on an extremely hot evening was the fact that my small game plan of getting everyone together had fallen into place.
Autumn, with it’s falling leaves and champagne temperatures always uplifts moods. The innumerable shades of colours of the leaves on the trees, the bushes and the late flowers make up for a heady cocktail of emotions: tipsy, sloshed, happy and outright smashed.
The magic, I guess is in the air. The beautifully coloured parakeet looked across from the branch near my window at St. Catherine’s, as if to beckon me into its surreal world. As I got hooked on, it settled comfortably in its cosy nook just nearby on the same branch.
The placid, easy going and natural way of life at the University halls of UWA always make me wonder what it is that they have got right but we haven’t? A question I find myself asking each time I’m there. Is it the trust they have in their wisdom? Is it their belief that whatever you do should be done with passion? I remember the resonance of this wisdom in a personal favourite movie which set standards of parenting clear tones for me at that time – Lakshya. Its influence was such that each time I lectured my son on an-about-to happen performance or test – I always told him to give it his best shot.
We set standards for our children and want them to achieve and be at the top of the ladder. No harm, I fathom for the impetus must be there and as the saying goes if you aim for the moon, at least you shall land amidst the stars!
But and I reach that BIG BUT for now at this stage of my life when I have this luxury to pause and think about what made my most priceless memories – was it running after the greener grass on the other side or the contentment of having my family around me? Then I realize that the wisdom lies in encouraging our kids to love every moment of what they do – whether it is their studies, their sport, their music, their friends, their life – but to learn to make it worth the while right from the beginning till the end.
Which is what I did once more this summer. I persuaded my ever-busy husband to take out time and stop having a regret that he could not go back in a new semester to tuck in our son and come over with me to brew a concoction of memoirs which both will cherish. In the bargain, I settled in for a truncated but action-packed vacation. And each of the participants got what they wanted and any guesses for who came out the winner in all of this?? Well, wickedly yours (!) and my memories, of course. Of the latter there were stockpiles of them in an absolute demilitarised zone called the heart!!
The energetic and enticing vacation started with the ducks and sea-gulls of the UWA water front who recognised me yet again and welcomed me by introducing me to their far-amazing cousin the Black Swans who did not shy away from telling their astounding story of how they were thought never to have existed and only thought to be part of folk-lore. Yet when they were found, the astonishing find led their discovery right into the English language proverbs list – now the hypnotizing effect of UWA had made even the Black swans of erudite and academic interest!
Even the dinosaur egg shined brighter for me as it tried to keep my mood uplifted. And somehow the rubbed off learning made the sundial time deciphering a shade easy. Consequently, the native bird had taken a break from one of her lectures and looked on approvingly as she saw me more learned.
As I interacted with people around, I realised that excellence is a way of life with them; for everything they do, they do it wholeheartedly.
A shopping trip was an absorbing experience too as the ROC Candy – the best artisan candy had a young chap ferociously rolling and chopping incessantly the candy rolls, while talking about his wares with fun, enthusiasm, gusto and a fire much like the candy he was making and selling. His love for what he was doing and telling us about had so much of a craze around it that it got us so excited that we ended up buying 6 packets of it!!
At the Sydney airport a visit to the washroom led to another scenario where caring for ‘your fellow commuters’ was seen taken to another level as travellers used the wash basins and picked out the tissue towels to wipe the water off the ledge and keep it dry! This had even a seasoned traveller like me in awe and depression all at the same time, for I knew that as a nation of callous and selfish people this was hardly ever on our minds – being considerate for others.
With the tone set for the trip, and the magic already underway, we were looking forward to Sydney and our planned trip to the Blue Mountains, a world heritage site. But as we landed in Sydney, we were totally unprepared for what lay in store for us. The late night Sydney skyline from our hotel mesmerised us in an instant, leaving us wanting for more……….