Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Yesterday was a sad day for my family, especially my parents and brother, as we watched the attacks unfold in Mumbai, India. Although the attack was widespread, the area hit hardest and longest was my family's old neighborhood, Colaba. As the newscasters mentioned names of hospitals, rail stations, hotels and restaurants, I thought about all the times I had heard about these places before in the context of my family's life and adventures before me. And as I watched the flames erupting at the Taj Palace hotel, I thought about the time we had stayed there for a few days after visiting family. It wasn't exactly in my parents' budget at the time, but they wanted to treat me and my brother after we spent the summer roughing it at my mom's tiny village. I was only 10 at the time, so what I remember most was being completely awed by its size, the architecture and interior decorations.

My mom had moved to Mumbai in her early 20s to attend nursing school. My dad also moved to the big city in his 20s. Eventually they met, fell in love and got married. They were mavericks; back in those days a "love marriage" wasn't too common. Soon after my older brother was born. I didn't come along until much later, ten years to be exact and after they immigrated to the U.S. Growing up however, I was often regaled with tales of their life in Mumbai: the walks along the waterfront near the Gateway of India, the various cafes with the best Chinese, Farsi and Indian foods, the Cadbury chocolate factory that my brother walked past every day on the way to school, the hustle and bustle of the city and the general peacefulness of the neighborhood. To see that peacefulness shattered in such a terrible way yesterday affected all four of us. It broke my heart to see the city in chaos, to see such iconic buildings destroyed, to hear about all the local residents injured and killed as they went about their daily activities and to hear that American & British tourists were particularly targeted.

The sad events halfway across the world have made me even more thankful for all the goodness in my life on this Thanksgiving.

I am thankful that my mom made the bold decision to leave her village on her own for school in Mumbai. Without her training as a nurse, they would not have been able to move to the U.S.

I am thankful that my parents always pushed me to pursue higher education. Thanks to their efforts and encouragement I have a very stable job in uncertain economic times.

I am thankful for my family & friends and their health and safety. I may not get to see everyone as often as I would like to, but when I do it's as if we've never spent time apart.

I am thankful for my husband, who makes me laugh every single day no matter how rotten of a mood I might be in.

I am thankful to receive the type of unconditional love and amusement only a pet can offer.

I am thankful to have good neighbors.

I am thankful for my Nesties; I wish I would have delurked sooner because you are all fantastic.

Finally, I am thankful that the turkey turned out moist and that all the side dishes turned out fine. It took six hours start to finish, but I successfully cooked my first Thanksgiving dinner entirely on my own. :-)


A Feminist Gold Digger said...

Glad your first holiday meal turned out the way you wanted it too.

So sad about Mumbai. I watched the coverage for I swear, about 5 hours last night, in horror.

WeezerMonkey said...

The recent events in Mumbai have been incredible and not in a good way, obviously.

The post, however, was beautiful. Kudos to your first Thanksgiving cooking.

valerie said...

Glad to hear the culinary goals were fulfilled this year and it's good that your parents came down to celebrate with you.

The Mumbai events do put a different spin on this holiday and the gratefulness that goes in hand.

Dunc said...

From one nestie to another, I'm thankful for you too :-)

What a horrible event, made even more gutwrenching by being so close to "home" - I'm so sorry.

10yearstogether said...

I just want to hug the shit out of you right now!