Yasmin Naqvi

My name is Yasmin. I live in Hobart, Australia. My Dad used to live in India, in a town in the North.
My grandmother lives there,. My grandfather lives there.

Some aunts and uncles and cousins live there too, and some live in other places in the North of India.

Once, my Dad and Mum, brother, sister and I caught a plane to India.

Then, for half a year my Dad and Mum, brother, sister and I lived in a town, and other places, in the north of India.

I played there. I ate there and … I travelled a lot! I had to visit all my aunts, all my uncles, and all my cousins.

I travelled by train. And I also travelled by rickshaw. It cost two rupees in a rickshaw to get from my grandmother’s house to the railway station.

The road was too narrow for lots of cars. It was more airy on the rickshaw anyway.The man on the rickshaw could pedal really fast. Once I got bumped off a rickshaw by a bullock cart. I scratched my leg. My grandmother out a bandage on it. Then our rickshaw needed fixing.

I saw a lot of rickshaws. Some carried advertisements for movies. Some carried my brother, sister and cousins and …some carried me.
Sometimes I didn’t know whether I was travelling, or …playing, or …just being lazy!

Once we caught a train, and travelled over hills and mountains, and over bridges and creeks until we were in a place called Kashmir, where my second cousin lives, in a houseboat on a lake.
One day a man came to our houseboat in his shikara. He was selling some sweets, chocolates and cordial.
I like the look of the chocolates. I hadn’t eaten any chocolates for a long time and I was feeling homesick for chocolates.
So, my sister and I bought one chocolate bar each.
We sat on the front of our houseboat in the sun and watched some fish in the water and we ate our chocolates.

Then a dreadful thing happened.
My sister leaned over to look where a fish had gone and she dropped her chocolate in the lake.
Down it went, under the weeds, out of sight. She tried to get it with a stick.
But the water was too deep. And cold.
It was gone. She was angry.
I think the fish had a chocolate feast. I gave my sister a bit of mine.
I’m back home in Australia again, bit often I do remember …
When I wore some different clothes, when I played some different games, when I travelled in lots of ways, when I talked in a different language.
And, how it felt to be with those people that my Dad often talks about.
And another thing I do remember … is the time when my brother, sister and I dresses up, like people that we knew in the north of India.

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