In the first of our Changing Cycles Community Blogs our Board Member Suriya shares her thoughts on Change.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a series of Blogs written by our members of the wider Changing Cycles Community some will be anonymous and others will include the details of the person who wrote it. If you would like to be involved please get in touch.
Suriya is an incredible Mandala Artist and a Yoga Teacher you can check out her Social Media Pages; Atma Yoga & Atma Mandalas
The biggest change in my life started when I boarded the plane to Northern Ireland. I've only heard of London in my life and never travelled much in India either, just through my hometown and within my state.
Life had bigger plans for me, I boarded the flight with the weather being 35°C and when I landed in London it was 2°C. I walked in the airport and a bottle of water was £1 (100 rupees). I thought to myself, do I need to spend so much on a bottle of water when it's free back at home. I was waiting to board the flight to Northern Ireland and no one smiled or talked to me, it was very quiet, there was a strange feeling in my heart. I seen a few Indian men and found out that they were travelling to Belfast as well, which gave me comfort. I had no idea this would be where I'd stay for many years. I landed in Belfast and it was freezing (-1°C) at 5:30pm Feb 25th , 2004. There was snow everywhere and this was my first time experiencing it. It was beautiful. I was shivering but enjoying the snow which seemed to fall forever. It looked like a massive carpet covering everything and stretching as far as I could see. I then quickly realised how cold it was, this was also my first time in a temperature under 10°C and I ran to the car. This fancy car with sliding doors and tons of space picks us up and drives us through the dark night, I had no idea where we were going but I was too tired to think or care about anything. The drive felt unusual. There were no bumps or problems on this perfect road that stretched ahead of us and there was no crowd or traffic jam at all. I wondered why no one was on this enormous road yet in India the roads are far worse and used by a lot more people. There were no horns and it was a very peaceful and uneventful drive, completely opposite to the normal in India. We were taken to Carpenham (Late Lord Ballyedmonds family home). The car drives past these trees, massive, green and dark and couldn't see a thing and there a lady (Bridie) opens the door welcomes us, takes us to our rooms, shows around the house, the library,the bathrooms were massive, the kitchen and the food on the table. I felt as though I was in a mansion. My husband, three Indian men and myself left in a new environment and a huge house. Everyone went and freshened up and enjoyed the food but I just couldn't enjoy it like them. I felt too far from home and was scared. For my own comfort I made something for myself and one other man who couldn't eat the food either.
The tiredness put us to sleep in a huge, lovely cozy bed and but when I woke up, the reality struck me hard. The noises that had surrounded me all these years are missing, just few chirps of birds and the flow of the stream beside. To connect to the family home was dear back then, no mobile phones, Skype and the one thing I could do was cry. Life doesn't teach the easy way, I wasn't ready for the change and it was hard for me the days to come.
I found out I was pregnant on March 14th 2004 and then the hormones, homesickness all kicked in. I was left in a bad place.
Things took a turn when I luckily got a job in Norbrook, rented a house in Newry. The colleagues were the best I could have. They were so nice to me. My Landlord was also really lovely, their kind words and help started to open my heart and helped me believe in kindness and compassion.
The culture was a big shock and even today there are things I wouldn't understand, when there is hesitation within, it's misunderstood to be ignorance and many friendships were lost in the go but these mistakes have lead to me discovering more about myself. Living with two children (a girl and a boy) and my husband, juggling with two cultures and getting used to life in this alien world, I started to understand and appreciate the simpleness of life around me. I made friends who had similar experiences to me and started to open up as a person. I began to feel like I belonged, and started to enjoy life. More changes are expected and still changing.... As said Change is the only thing that never changes.