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  • I’m six. I’m on my first airplane ride. I’m going from Delhi to London non-stop. I am excited, nervous, anxious, thrilled and have butterflies in my stomach. I am seated and belted. The plane is huge. I can’t believe it will actually lift off into the air! I’m shifting about in my seat. A beautiful lady comes and hands me a hot towel. I accept thinking: oh what strange gifts on board I’m receiving! I watch my dad as he wipes his face and hands. I proceed to do the same. Soon it’s time for take-off and I am really getting goosebumps now! It is speeding off the runway, I’m holding tight and whoosh it’s up in the air. We are flying and floating through clouds. I soon fall asleep I think.

    I land in London, I’m always holding my mummy or papa’s hand. I recall how amazed I am at seeing so many white folks, what lovely colour hair and eyes they have, what pink cheeks… how tall they are and how I don’t really understand what they are saying! Then I remember as we are heading out, papa buys me my first milkshake, it tastes of strawberries and milk-a delightful combination. And then we get into a huge black cab. I haven’t been in such a big car before but the most exciting part of the car to me is the pull down seats at the back for extra seating. I thought this seems just invented for kids like me and have a great deal of fun pulling down the seat. Watching the greenery as we glide by on smooth roads. Everything seems new and squeaky clean. And everything is new for my six-year old eyes to feast.

    We are in Kent, the Isle of Sheppy in fact. This is where papa works and we have rented a house. I have a bedroom all to myself, it has wall paper with teddy bears and other friendly characters. But still I can’t sleep alone , its way too scary for me. I have never slept alone in a bed either been with my parents or my grandparents or my uncle and aunts. I have no intention of being on my own, so I sleep with my mummy. I draw on the wall paper my own character and doodles! Mummy tries to cook Indian food, it tastes horrible because she doesn’t have the right spices yet. Later she would find the right shop to get her regular Indian food supplies. It’s all new for her also.

    I’m in school. I don’t understand a word people are saying. I know some basic words in English but I can’t converse, I don’t understand the accent and they speak very fast. I am an extrovert kid at this point. I just want to learn and explore. They let me observe and I also get some extra lessons. I am a whizz at maths and on the highest book. I soon start to make friends (a specific tale on that to come).

    Apart from it being so many first time experiences. It’s also the first time we’ve lived near the sea. We can just walk down to the shore. It’s wondrous, I even see starfish and as I put my feet in the sea, I feel that I am moving although I am still. I get scared. Papa is near me. I say I am scared of going into the sea. He says that’s just the effect of the tide, the waves coming in and its fine, the water is shallow and he holds my hand. Things seem perfect and fresh.

    Image: I am actually seven in this photo; its taken by my babysitter who is also a young photographer.
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