Penned on 4/10/18
Crash boom..bangs galore
Landed..on a lonely shore!
-Tintin, the comic character
My idea of this unique country in the Southern Hemisphere of the globe, was always one of an exquisite, exotic type of place, but what I saw when we finally reached, took my breath away. My knowledge of the place was first gathered in school. Our Geography teacher, a senior nun was good at explaining during our Cambridge course of the last two years of school.
World Geography took us from country to country and after the continent of Australia, came this tiny country consisting of two main islands, North Island and South Island. The Maoris were the oldest inhabitants who lived all over the islands including the small islands. One of the highest peaks of the world, Mount Cook, was in the South Island, we learnt. Little did I know that a day would come, decades later, when I would actually be visiting the place! Thanks to my son Shiv and daughter-in-law Ria who live and work in New Zealand, and we had gone to visit them.
They came to the airport to pick us up in their new Japanese car, which was a good one indeed. As we sped along the roads, the beauty of the place revealed itself. The cleanliness, pollution free air and cool weather was exciting to see and feel. The Viaduct Harbour drew near and the beautifully blue calm sea indicated that we were nearing home in the heart of the city of Auckland.
From the sixth floor flat of The Docks, was visible the two lighthouse towers. Western influence was visible everywhere and English was the language spoken. My thoughts raced back to the days when Shiv was in Europe and in Vienna was faced with German language to his inconvenience.
He was overjoyed when he had first landed in NZ. European environment combined perfectly with English in this never-never land. This time round he was newly married- Ria was friend, philosopher and guide along with being a loving and caring life partner. Setting up a new home, finding the best suited job and adjusting to this new country was the prime intention and took them a couple of years. Initially Ria armed with a student visa, had joined Wintec abbreviation of Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, for her Masters in Informatics. Shiv had however completed studies back home in India.
I admired the perfect smoothness of the buildings and constructions, when we went out the next morning, after breakfast. Shiv ordered chicken biryani from an Indian shop and soon we were having it in their 5-star like house. It was the old wine in the new bottle and family reunion after ages.
Everything was new about this trip. Gautam, my husband and I together for the first time, made such a long international journey, covering several countries to this far flung land. The time was opportune, as after retirement, we were finally free for adventure. Seeing Shiv after more than a year and a half, with Ria, was such a joyful moment.
“Countdown”, the 24/7 multipurpose store was a stone’s throw away, and we paid a visit there as well. I felt glad that we made it this far and the ball was rolling for the younger Adhikarys. Rosh was home in Mumbai and we were all talking and thinking of her. It was the last day of August and “Come September” was to be ushered in. An adventurous month stretched in front of us in New..New…New Zealand.