I was born in a middle class family. Like all middle class families, ours too was rich in relationships, and yet to flourish in terms of monetary values, but all of us had dreams.
I too had a dream. I cannot categorize it small or big. It was a craze towards Singapore. The country, the rich culture, and the tasty foods. I had heard a lot about it from our relatives. In fact, during my kindergarten days, the only foreign country I knew was “Singapore”. And, as always, there was a difference between “hearing” and “visualizing”. I was lucky I would say. All thanks to the movies, “Ninaithale Inikkum” and “Priya” that cemented my dream.
My Father was a Bank Employee and a LTC Holder. Every year he made sure that we plan our summer vacation, round the corners of India. I enjoyed at first, visited all the major cities of India, but later I started feeling bored. My parents noticed the change in me, the way I moved around, the way I ignored asking details of the place, etc.,
One day my Dad spoke to me in person, “Are you getting bored to roam around India? You doesn’t look energetic.”
“I’m bored Dad. We have all the parts of India, tasted all the types of food, it’s good, very good, and I loved it. But… I want to go to foreign countries. I want to visit Singapore and taste the fantastic Singaporean foods.”
My Dad got excited to know about it, but he stayed mute. He did the same whenever I asked about Singapore and Singaporean foods. I was not aware of the reason, but on one fine night, when my Dad was saying to my Mom, “Somehow we should make a trip to Singapore so that she will be happy. We’re not a rich family, we want to take care of their studies as well, but we should also make their dreams come true no matter how tough/costly it is.”
I was happy to hear those words from my father. From that day I made sure, I kept silent, I used to watch TV shows, ads, etc., about Singaporean Foods, but never spoke about them in my home. Crabs and Fish Head Curry were my favorites, my mouth waters automatically whenever I speak of it to my friends, relatives or whomsoever I meet.
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And on one fine day, I was standing before my headmaster room corridor, holding the answer papers in my hand, waiting for him to come.
“What are you doing here Vidhya?” He asked. I was a bit popular girl in my school.
“Sir, I came to submit the class answer papers.” I said, my friend Santhosh was standing next to me with a letter. He said to headmaster that he was going to Singapore to attend his Aunt’s daughter marriage. He congratulated him, approved his leaves instantly, and wished him to have a nice trip. He was happy. I submitted the class answer papers and walked back with my co-class leader Renuka.
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One the way back Renuka said, “Have you noticed Santhosh today? He was showing all his teeth to HM.”
I said yes, then she asked, “Why? What’s so special about Singapore?”
With so much of happiness, as if I was going to Singapore, I spoke about Singapore to her. “Singapore is a very diverse and young country. It has many languages, religions, and cultures. It is basically known for the food they have. Particularly I love the crabs and fish recipes of them. I have heard a lot about it. I really really want to go there. It is the only foreign country I want to visit. In fact, that’s the only foreign country I know.” I spoke nonstop for ten minutes. She too got impressed and we both wished of visiting Singapore one day.
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Two years ago, my dream came true, when my hubby and I, visited Singapore just after our marriage sponsored by my Dad and my Hubby. It was fun, full of fun and excitement, memorable too. Particularly, the way my hubby struggled to eat crabs, was one of the best moment of the trip. As they say, #FarMoreFun #FarMoreSingapore.