Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I could barely believe that our month long stay in the USA had come to an end. It felt just yesterday that we had arrived. The entire last morning was spent in shopping for gifts and other things difficult to find in India. By afternoon, Jamma had come back from work and was frying luchis that we greedily gobbled up with goat curry. The bags were all packed and I could feel the hours ticking away. I felt sick for I didn’t want to go back!
Shintadidi arrived in the afternoon with my favourite painting that I wanted to take back with me to India. We spoke to Miguel and Mintadidi on the phone and everybody had a last tea together with those awesome sweet rusks from the Indian store. I walked out on the cool grass of the lawn for the last with the tiny green insects jumping about my toes in resentment. The houses, the road, the woods at the end of the road, these were my neighbourhood for the last one month and felt like home. 27, Cobblestone Lane was what was home to me away from home. I just breathed a lungful of Ramsey air for the last time and thought when I would be back here again.
“Come on, let’s get going. It’s already six.” I could hear Jethu say having an umpteenth rusk and brushing the crumbs away nonchalantly. He had actually come back home with his toothbrush sticking out of his pocket to everyone’s surprise.
Papa was already getting impatient as we began loading the hulking suitcases into the boot. Soon we were away; driving towards Newark Airport for our flight was due at 2120 hrs.
Parking is a big hassle so the goodbyes were restricted to short and quick ones done in front of the big revolving door. Our trolleys barely moved with all the luggage piled up and groaned and creaked as we pushed them. We all had had such a great time in each other’s company that it was painful to part. I had had a fantastic bonding with all my cousins and I was going to miss them like holes in the head. The last goodbyes said, we moved in to the airport while the silver Camry leapt down the road homewards.
The flight back home was nondescript but lack of space on the runway at Mumbai Airport resulted in the plane circling for almost half an hour. Finally we touched down in Mumbai, we were home.
The luggage had a twist in the tale for one of our suitcases had been beheaded when the handle had come off and with it the tag and had ended up with the unclaimed luggage adding to our harassment. Couple of phone calls later, we retrieved it much to our relief.
It was drizzling when we stepped of the airport and the first rains to the city had brought much needed relief from the oppressive heat of the raging summer. I still could barely believe that I was back home in India, how I missed everybody!
It had been amazing odyssey for us. I had thoroughly enjoyed it and actually couldn’t get enough. Damn, since hindsight is always 20/20, I think I should’ve given my SAT and gone abroad to pursue my education. Sigh!
But the trip was more than marriages and carriages of duty, it was about family, the fact that the ties of blood don’t thin out even with the passage of time, was about bonding, love, rediscovery, and about the fantastic journey that some lucky and privileged Indian sweets get to make to grace a wedding half the world away to end up in the stomachs of people they have never seen!!


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