Work brought me to England a week back. It was all so sudden but I managed to bring a little India with me, which I refuse to share with anyone else. My baggage limit was extended by 20 kg more than the usual and I could say that was the best thing which happened to me! My clocks aren't adjusted yet - Some of them chose the 'automatic' time zone while others are still working at GMT + 5:30. I refuse to change the timezone of my laptop, because as of now, it just doesn't seem the right thing to do. I might be silly, and England would have to deal with it.
A 9 hour flight was something which I was really dreading coz I don't know how to keep mum for that long. And I didn't. Sooner than I knew, I befriended an older gentleman sitting next to me. A businessman from London who flies to India every fifteen days, gave me enough tips to explore London like a local and not a tourist. It was a little shocking when a he shared his views about English Queen and the British rule in India.
Deep down, people are all the same, everywhere.We all just need little things in life to keep us happy. Whatever happened in India due to the British invasion is something that a common man from England is ashamed of, is something I would never forget. It might be a personal view, and not the sentiment of the entire nation. But, for me, as an Indian it is enough to be brought into limelight. And I am not saying that because he helped me unload two big 20Kg suitcases from the conveyer belt, which I would not have been able to do on my own in a lifetime.
The generous cabby showed me around before heading home. The fact that there is a little India near me at Southall, London makes me feel that the real one is not so far away. Southall is what I would call the power of community. There is a part of the English capital which we have claimed as our own, somehow is revenge enough, for the unending ordeal India suffered, years back. A place where aunties cross roads giving more thought to their gossips than to traffic lights makes me feel at home! I couldn't have asked for more after seeing Bikanerwala , where I can head to whenever I crave for Indian flavours.
English Summer is a misleading term. Chilly and windy is all I feel and my hair is a mop of mess, most of the times. That's why no pictures with this post. Walking around, hands inside pockets , watching the city pass by seems like a movie sequence to me. For the first few days, it was a little difficult finding my way around the city, but there are helpful strangers everywhere. One even gave me a free bus ride! I don't know if it is my charm that is working on England, or the other way round.
Given my love for food, finding anything remotely 'Indian' at a grocery store easily becomes the highlight of my day! Add to that, swans residing outside my window by the riverside! Life is a movie and now I am secretly wishing for SRK to turn up at my door someday, so that I can cook a delicious Indian meal for him in this foreign land and make my way to his heart through the stomach! This age old Indian gyaan can't go wrong.