the L word

I’ve always had a problem with it. I’ve always had too much of it and often gotten in trouble for having too much of it.

In 4th grade, my teacher would call me ‘Forty Bags‘ because I had too much stuff.

On my pilgrimage to Hajj, my brother couldn’t believe how much I had packed and made me leave stuff en route, refusing to help me carry all my belongings till I lightened up.

And on my honeymoon, my husband naively thought I’d have just a carry-on-bag, but rather I had a huge bag that I needed to check in, which in turn made us later than we already were, and made us miss a flight!




I admire those who travel light, who pack light, and who can adeptly pick up their bags and swing it lightly off the baggage carousel. I admire those who make packing look like an art, who arrange a suitcase like a game of Tetris. While those in airports may admire those with trim figures, I’m admiring the trim suitcases.

You see I used to travel often, when it was just me. I was wise with the ways of suitcases.

I would travel to Karachi every chance I got, imbibe the balmy air,  sit with grandparents, melt and mold with cousins. I would escape to the beach, jettison off to the tailor after buying colored lawn cotton and sparkly laces, and sneak in kabab rolls and roasted bhuttas (corns).

But now my life is different, blander, simpler. I own different luggage. I have a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 29 year old husband.

Now I don’t get the opportunity To schlep off to Pakistan. I shy away from it as travelling internationally   with 2 little children both 3 and under is hard hard work. I have done it with Z twice, made some amazing memories, so I know it is doable, but haven’t yet with baby A.

Now my travels are domestically in the U.S. – now I and fold and refold little clothes into impossibly small squares, and squish, and squash.


You see, I am 1+1+1+1.






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