My first experience happened when I was seven. My father told us we’ll leave New Delhi, I was the curious one, I didn’t waste time asking, ‘why Abba we’d have to leave and where are we going?’
To Rawalpindi was his reply, he was transferred from Delhi to Rawalpindi. We arrived by train. It was a long journey, I was tired and hoped we’d arrive at the strange place in a jiffy. My dream did not come true, I had to endure the journey, where there were several stops. Eventually we reached our destination.
My Dad was concerned about our school. He was told the best school in the city was Presentation Convent. My older sister was given the responsibility of looking after my admission.
After registration one of my teachers took me to the classroom where I was introduced to the teacher who was my homeroom teacher.
There was one thing I enjoyed in this school was Music. The teacher taught us a lot of songs, one of my favourite was the song, “In Derry Vale.”
Many years have passed, I still remember this song. I knew the lyrics, I did not pay attention to the meaning, I enjoyed singing it quietly in a corner of my house.
After all these years I paid attention to the lyrics and realized why the tune of the song was so sad.
I will write a part of the song to let the reader understand why this song is my favourite here it is :
In Derry Vale Beside the Singing River,
So Oft I strayed Ah many years ago
And culled at morn the golden daffodillies
That came with Spring To set the world Aglow,
Oh Derry vale my thoughts are ever turning
To your broad stream and fairy circles lea
For your green isles my exiled heart is yearning
So far away across the sea.
I feel for those nuns who left their home in Ireland, to come to teach in a place so far away from their homeland.
I know now how it feels to be in a place which is so far away from my original homeland. There are so many things I miss which I cannot experience because of the distance.
No one forced me to leave my home, I made the decision myself. The song reminds me, I too think of how far away I am from the green fields, and the innocent people who live there!