This is something I have been carrying around in my purse since I first got it. The pin, not the purse.
When I first moved to Kuwait for a job, it was a strange mixed feeling. Part elation for finally staying away from home and part sadness for leaving Bombay behind. Lucky as I was, I got to stay with my uncle and aunt and it was undoubtedly a delightful stay.
But, not everything was smooth sailing… there were peaks and troughs in my job and I didn’t have any friends my age. There was not much to do in Kuwait and this made me lazy… I started to confine myself to my room after work.
Then came this invitation by one of uncle’s friends to attend a quiz session. This quiz session was a monthly initiative of an association I then had no idea about. An association of engineers… like me. When it was suggested that I join the association I wasn’t too sure in the beginning. I had stopped being socially active a couple of years before my Kuwait trip. I didn’t think I would be able to get out of that shell I had created for myself.
In no time I found myself not just a member of KEA (Keralite Engineers’ Association) but also the Ladies’ Representative. It was a joyride from then on. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I say the people who formed KEA injected new life into me. I didn’t feel I had to be alone with my thoughts all the time… I started looking forward to the different functions and meetings in KEA. It didn’t matter that most of the friends I made in KEA weren’t my age… they were good friends… naah… they are great friends.
Every time there was a KEA function, I would be part of it in some way… sometimes onstage, sometimes off… but never a mere spectator. Frankly, I felt like I was in college again or high school… an abundance of energy. Awards, certificates and recognition added to the excitement and that college-like feel. I even got to design the KEA logo… which is now on that pin.
Every friend I made there will forever remain in my heart… some were my bosses, some were colleagues, some are people who share a common thread back in India. Each one of them is a beautiful memory I would like to pin forever to my happy times board.
Now, I have left Kuwait behind. I am no longer a member of KEA. But those wonderful memories will be treasured… like the little pin that stays in my purse… all the time.