It is Dec 26, 2021. Today is my Papa’s birthday and I am home to celebrate this day with my family after a gap of over 2 years. You see we celebrate this day as our birthday together: me, my brother, my Mum and Papa. There was good food, sweets, cake, samosa and gifts! We decided not to go anywhere as it is better to stay indoors these days. We used to stay home on this day for many years, nobody would travel or go out. We used to sit together, reminisce the day in 2004 and be grateful that we are all here with each other. Today was no different. We all prayed in the morning, did our own spiritual practices and welcomed the day with warm open arms.

We like to celebrate low key and I love it just that way. At home with family, mummy’s special kheer, yummy food. A dainty cake and some sweet gifts, nothing fancy, just a token of admiration for each other. My mum never fails to buy us a pen on our birthdays, that is just her sweet way to show her love for us. I love this so much. Today, I put up a small decoration as well, to click loads of family pictures. The foil curtain and the fairy lights set the celebration mood. Not to forget the crown for the birthday boy! And of course the birthday banner, which we have reused at least twice for everyone’s birthday 😀 That’s my cute little family.

I will be going back soon. I am so happy that I got to celebrate this day, our combined birthday with my family and be merry! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and their December is filled with love and harmony. For those of us not celebrating, I send loads of cheers and peace and joy and love ❤️ 

I pray to God to keep blessing my family and showering his love on us throughout. We are all so grateful and humbled and bow down to the Almighty for his kindness. God is benevolent and I am forever indebted. I happened to listen to Swamiji’s youtube video An excerpt from the Book of Kindness. My brother was watching it. As I listened to it, my eyes went bigger and bigger and my jaw dropped literally 😀 It felt like he was narrating an incident from my life. I was so surprised to know he was referring to the same disaster that me and my family had faced. We patiently listened to him. The story is heartbreaking, unfortunately my family has seen and heard similar and even more tragic accounts from that day in Car Nicobar, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

My father was serving in the Indian Air Force at that time, I was studying in class 4th and my brother was in 2nd standard. My mother used to be  an ad hoc teacher in our school. Car Nicobar or Carnic is a small island, we used to know almost everybody by their name or profession. My father had befriended many civilians as well (those not serving in the IAF). I used to love walking around this beautiful island. Cycling near the shore in a cycle park for kids. Walking on the beach side with my mother and her friends. We had a few picnics by the beach, a boat tour on the jetty. Innumerous coconut and palm trees, I used to love the scenery. School time was one of my favorite activities of the day, I was so into co-curricular and good in studies too. All the teachers knew me and thankfully had good things to say about me to my mother. It was a close knit family on a beautiful island. I miss all my dear friends, my classmates, my teachers, the family friends and those stage performances I did as a kid. Oh I am so lost in the memory lane right now.

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I fold my hands and bow my head in humbleness for this beautiful life that I am living. I will continue in the next part. I am sharing my thoughts about the 2004 tsunami that originated in the Indian Ocean on Sunday, Dec 26 in 2004. Sharing positive thoughts and empathy for the survivors, fighters and everybody affected by the calamity. If I write something that brings anybody the slightest pain please forgive me and let me know.

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