ABU DHABI, U A E
It’s been 6 days since I left India and it feels like an age. I feel like I’m in a void and not connecting to much.
After 5 months of travel and sleeping on mostly hard Indian beds with brick-like pillows and taking every mode of transport conceivable; from scooters and motorbikes to taxis and tuk-tuks, donkeys and trains, sleeper buses, bicycles and boats, my body, especially my neck was way out of alignment. Needless to say, I was in desperate need of a chiropractic adjustment as the 50 rupee trip to the barber in Varanasi for one didn’t quite do the trick.
I didn’t realize quite how much I missed India until I got in a taxi to go to the chiropractor in Abu Dhabi a few days ago and my driver was Indian. I was so excited to see him. He was so incredibly kind and we talked the entire way to my appointment. We shared our love for the Indian land, people and culture. He was so happy to hear that I had been to the town he had grown up in in Kerala.
I shared much of my trip and what I’d learned and found myself unexpectedly choking back tears as I spoke with him because I was missing it so much.
As we were saying our goodbyes I opened up my journal to write his name down and out fell a little blue flower I had picked up from the ground at the botanical garden in Bangalore on one of my last days there.
I gave it to him and he took it and cupped it carefully in his hands, noticing how incredibly delicate it was. With big eyes and a huge smile, he asked: “Is it from India?” I said yes and told him it was for him. He was so delighted and said he would keep it to remember me. It was such a touching interaction I felt so blessed to have had. Just as I feel so blessed that India welcomed me and cradled me in her arms and showed me so much of her and of me; through her perfect imperfection, through her chaos and her beauty, through her ritual and her rawness.
She is in me and has forged a deep and rich crevice in my heart that is filled with jewels and a longing to return.