Dhandhan Calling

If my childhood memories don’t fail me, London is the first city I said I wanted to go to. Actually it was Dhandhan as I couldn’t say the ‘la’ when I was 3. I distinctly remember watching my mom wrap the white cotton chador, which is a surefire indication she’s heading out somewhere. At the time I was a clingy toddler and I asked her where she was going. She sarcastically replied, I’m going to London. Now, I’m a 3 year old that believes everything her mother says and I thought it was some place nearby so I’d say, ‘Naanum varen dhandhanuku’ – I want to come to London too. She never took me with her. There was always a relative that accompanied her and I had completely forgotten who she was until last year.

I was at my uncle’s place in India last October, the same house where this memory took place. There were a few relatives in the house. Actually, we’re pretty much related to all the people living on our street so they’re always in and out visiting my grandmother. One lady sitting next to me was chatting with me and she asked,

‘Do you remember when you used to tell your mom you want to go to Dhandhan?’

‘YES, yes I do. Are you the one who went with my mom? Where did you guys go?’

‘I’m the one, we would go to your grand uncle’s house so your mom can talk to your dad over the phone.’

This was the early 90s and phones still weren’t common in our small town. My mom and dad (living in Singapore/Canada) sent letters to each other for  about 8 years into their marriage. The only phone was at my grandma’s elder brother’s house, which was a two hour bus ride away at the time due to awful roads and not so great buses. Fast forward two decades later and here I am chatting via whatsapp with my mom’s relatives back home.

I realized the other day that life had come a full circle, as it always does. Back in Ramadan I asked my mom if I can go on a mini Euro trip in October. Her immediate reply was,

‘TAKE ME WITH YOU! Take me to London!’

So here I am, on my way to Dhandhan with my mother :).

InshaAllaah, see you all on the other side of the pond.

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