Letras de mi Corazon – Part 1: Vivir Mi Vida

Vivir Mi VidaEIGHT months later and most mornings evolve in a similar dance. I walk towards the kitchen in search of much needed coffee. As my eyes open with each step, it catches glimpses of the pink and teal coloured statue of Christ the Redeemer, mustard yellow signage shouting out ‘I Love Cuba’ resting against the kitchen wall and fridge magnets, notably a slanted bus racing through a pink background – slanted from glasses of tequila or mezcal perhaps – that’s what crossed my mind when I picked this at the Freda Kahlo museum shop. Flitting through these thoughts, a smile grows and an unexplainable sense of happiness fills my soul. Yes, I made it. With that, I quickly guzzle down my coffee and get ready for work. The next adventure calls.

It all started one weekday afternoon in September 2016. I was taking a series of work calls from the superman closet (a cubicle resembling a phone booth, placed in corners of the office). Meeting rooms are difficult to access at work and these cubicles, although a little stuffy, are a good quiet option. As I wrapped up my meetings, I call my best friend, Parveen whom I have known since the age of six plus. Through our thirty years of friendship we have had our highs and lows but despite all that, the novelty of childhood friendship allows us to connect like magnets without letting the past bite.

So yes, I talk to Parveen and we share a laugh about a Bollywood drama and conversation drifts about making a trip to Latin America to utilize our balance leave. This wasn’t an unusual topic – it comes up often and each time, we glide on saying that we gotta do this. But this call went differently – maybe some planet alignment or eclipse was going on. We impulsively checked ticket prices to Rio de Janeiro, via Dubai and at first blush, it seemed manageable, not such a big tear to the pocket as expected. ¨Shall we?¨ I asked. Giggle giggle…¨let’s reserve for seventy two hours and decide¨ came the answer.

And just like that…seventy two hours later… it was all happening. Leave approved, roundtrip tickets booked from Kuala Lumpur to Rio de Janeiro and over three weeks of vacation in December (inclusive of travel, public holidays and weekends) with my best friend. First long break from work and the longest trip with my best friend was 3 days. Did we have a plan? Not yet! Did it matter? Not really as the first step to Latina land was set and all that echoed was Marc Anthony’s song…VIVIR MI VIDA

Voy a reír, voy a bailar
I’m going to laugh, I’m going to dance

Vivir mi vida la la la la la
I’m going to live my life, la, la, la, la, la

Voy a reír, voy a gozar
I’m going to laugh, I’m going to enjoy

Vivir mi vida la la la la la
I’m going to live my life, la, la, la, la, la

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