On my second cup of coffee this rainy Sunday morning, I realized: I miss India! Only three weeks and I’ve shown most people close to me my fifty pictures printed out from Walgreen the old fashioned way. It was when I mentioned to my friend Bev yesterday that maybe I should put together a slide show that it started: creating one would be a way to keep the trip alive.
I bought a book on greater Delhi at the airport. This souvenir is invaluable! More than a book for tourists, it is also informative for those moving, or recently moved, to Delhi. The book reminds me of places I traveled and gives me names of those many tombs scattered across town. I won’t have to ask Rashma so many questions. Its name is Outlook Traveller Getaways: Delhi & NCR City Guide (NCR stands for National Capital Region).
I got really excited about the pull out map! Wow! I could trace places Rashma and I went around Delhi–that angry autorickshaw driver returning us from her publisher; the almost relaxed rides near Janpath and my whirlwind gift trip to Cottage Emporium; the drive to Lodhi Gardens; and the one to Habitat Centre to hear Prof. Gupt’s talk.
I’d like to return to Lodhi Gardens–without carrying those shopping bags. I’d like to wander around the Defence Colony area where Rashma teased me about it being the expats’ neighborhood. Although we got to the Gandhi Memorial, I never saw the spot where he’d been assassinated nor the little museum. We never got to a concert, although I did have a few private moments with the young voice teacher living in the flats. I’d love to go hear Sufi music as well as sitar. It’d be enlightening, I’m sure, to walk the Tibetan Market and explore the north. So many ruins, so many temples unseen! But then, we did do a lot…and I had a 10.5 hour time change to adjust to.
And what about Rashma’s wonderful friends and neighbors? I could use at least an afternoon or evening with each. Facebook is not enough though it’s an easy way to stay in touch thousands of air miles away. She knows I miss the somewhat domesticated wild dogs of Charmwood Village. My mornings here don’t begin hearing the vegetable bhaiya shouting out the products on his cart. When people ask what was my favorite thing about India–a truly impossible question to answer!–I say experiencing the everyday life of a middle class Indian family.
Yes, I’d like to return to India. I realize how spoiled I was, staying as a guest with Rashma and her family! I am aware that I’ll turn 64 in two months. How much longer will my energy hold out? All I know for certain is that my passport expires in 2017. Of course, it can be renewed but ancient India is calling me to my second home before then.