“The most beautiful thing in this world is to see your parents smiling and knowing that you are the reason behind that smile…”
This is what I felt for the very first time when I saw my parents walking towards me at Frankfurt airport. After having traveled all night, waited extra due to flight delay, I was finally seeing mumma papa walk towards me with a smile that cannot be explained. Although the smile was accompanied with tears of joy the time they could see me waiting for them, with 2 cards in my hand that said best mumma and best papa respectively. Those 20 seconds made me realize how much I had been waiting for this day… at that moment I remembered everything that had been done past 4 months to make this happen –
It was during Christmas vacations that I was booking their flight tickets and that was the first step towards the journey. My graduation dates and invites had been finalized and only 2 guests were allowed for each graduate. I knew that it had to be mumma papa, without whom I wouldn’t be even standing taking my degree.
Seeing the first step complete, followed with personalized invitation to them from my university, and all my documents ready for the visa (sponsorship) interview in coming days, made me think a lot of times if I would be able to pull this off smoothly. I did manage to get the document from visa office for them and posted it too. But, it took way too long and I decided to repeat the process before it was too late. So, I did repeat the process and posted it again. Meanwhile, I booked the best junior suite possible in one of the tallest hotels in Chemnitz for their stay during graduation. I wanted to give them the best I could at that time. Also, I found this absolutely wonderful apartment for them in Stuttgart that I could rent for the duration they were here.
Things happened one after the other and before I knew it, there was just one month before they would be here. My parents went for the visa interview in Bangalore and I could feel my heart racing until I received a call from them. Each day I prayed for things to be as smooth as they could be. There were slight hitches but it was okay eventually.
One thing that everyone who have already had their parents visit them is the only question that is asked each day before the date of travel – “What do you want us to bring for you? Send a list soon. Do you want this? Do you want that?” And my answer remained same each day – “I want you both to reach here. Rest everything is optional.” As much as mumma liked hearing this, she continued asking until I finally sent her a little list and needless to say, Maggi was on top of that list.
My vacation had already been approved for the duration they would be here, 3 months in advance, just to be sure that I would be spending each minute with them. Finally it was the final 3 days before their journey started. I had to clean my room and make sure all the things were in place. Bought all the things they would be needing in their apartment for their stay. In my case there wasn’t anything to hide, be it the mini bar that I have in my room with various wine bottles or the stack of all empty bottles were long due to be thrown. Anyways, I did get rid of the latter before the day they arrived (FacePalm).
On my last working day at work (before my long-awaited vacation), my friends and I decided to go out for dinner and by the time we returned it was time for me to leave to Frankfurt. Another friend of mine was accompanying me and each hour was feeling so long. We had to wait for our bus which was at 2:30 in the night for almost 1 and half hours and walked around the deserted area talking and anticipating how coming days would be.
Bus, as expected reached way before time and I found us standing at the Frankfurt hauptbahnfhof (main station) at 5:40am. The flight was not until 4 hours from then and yet, all I wanted to do was reach the airport. After having coffee, and barely a slice of bread, we took the train to the airport and reached before we could even realize. Time was just not flying.
This was the first time I realized that airports can be such touching places. When you sit in one place and just notice people around you, leaving, or meeting after so long, it does put a lot of thoughts in your mind. My mind was no less that day. I was going to see mumma papa after more than a year. I didn’t know what to expect or what to feel. The excitement and nervousness had taken over the hunger and I couldn’t eat a thing.
That’s when I realized that I hadn’t brought anything along to welcome them. I immediately went searching for what could I possibly give them. They have given me so much that I can never even come close to returning what they have done for me. And suddenly, I was reminded the first time I was traveling and mumma papa had given me Rs.251 while leaving. I wanted to relive that moment, but this time, the other way around and since we were in Germany, with other currency of course.
My friend and I managed to find the envelopes and also cards showing “Best mumma in the world” and “Best papa in the world”. Without writing personal messages on any kind of card/envelope, things remain incomplete. While writing on them, I felt as if I was 4 again. Writing with colored pens and drawing flowers and smilies. Good part is, my friend didn’t make fun of me. She knew exactly how I was feeling and continued taking pictures while I was lost in my world.
With cards and envelopes in both my hands, we started waiting at the gate where they were going to exit from and time just kept ticking. I could see the status of flight change on board and people leaving one after the other but I couldn’t see them.
After over 43 minutes of wait at the gate, I finally saw them. They saw me. And all I can remember is the way they looked at me. Papa’s teary smile spoke a million words and all mumma managed to say is “Charu we are finally here…“. That didn’t just mean in literal sense but she always thought, she would never leave India (together with papa) and that day, here they were, on their first international trip, for their daughter, by their daughter.
What happened each day after arriving here is another story, and I’ll keep that for the next blog post, but all I can say is, I have realized things about them, myself much more than I ever did in past 24 years…
P.S. Please leave your opinions/experiences in the comments below…:)
P.P.S. All the pictures have been taken by my friend who accompanied me, Janavi 🙂 I know I will be scolded to thank her, but nonetheless, thanks a lot 🙂
Keep smiling! 🙂