Sheffield and its people have taught me to embrace life with a child-like curiosity and enthusiasm. Every single feature of this erstwhile mining town has managed to tease me, frighten me, comfort me, surprise me, seduce me, and even scrape mildly at those rough edges in my personality. Now it just doesn't matter what I am not. It just doesn't hurt as much as it used to. I look forward to possibilities and opportunities, not dwell on disappointments and failures.
Every day when I take my daughter to her school, the hillside view with its rich carpet of green trees instills me with a positive energy. It is so magical that I can hear my favourite song and I break into a Bollywood style dance, well, in my heart. The myriad rich colours of the city's landscape, the sensuous feel of its chill breeze that never fails to accompany me in my lonely walks, the quiet birds nibbling at berries in the meadows, even the thoughtfully crafted play areas in all public parks leave their indelible impressions on me. owe it unmistakeably to the beauty and brilliance of nature, that is unconsciously cherished and effortlesslytaken care of by an English culture that champions living in the lap of nature.
People here go on long walks, they trek, they camp, they soak themselves in the sun, they ski and breathe in the biting chill airs, they enjoy their day out in the open even when it rains. Every season is welcomed and lived in to the hilt. Barbeques for summer, sledges for snow, kaftans and dresses for spring and boots for rainy puddles. The mantra is 'variety is fun'. AND Thank God for the many dustbins in every nook and cranny, in every road and lane, and hurray to all the people here who throw litter in its rightful place!
Looking at the English and the residents of Sheffield, especially the kids, I sometimes feel that I lost my childhood and teen years in the stressful benches and desks of my school and college. What was I doing mugging up paragraphs and pages of answers, theories, dates, sums, essays, and chasing the top rank and highest marks!! Phew! From day one in LKG till my last day at work, I lived on the brinks of tension. Gosh!
I wouldn't say that I am a person in a completely new skin. I am still petrified of being late, I still worry about my family's and my health, a stain or tear on my daughter's clothes still irritates me a wee bit, I am still moody at times, temper taunts me even today. BUT...deep inside there is a cosy corner which is full of confidence, courage and the thrist for new experiences.
Sheffield takes me to that part of my heart every day and together we look at the whole wide world with kind eyes, sparkling with gratitude and faith. Thanks Sheffield!