After a harrowing 24 hrs. on the worst possible 747, layovers, puke bags, poop-cleaning, and a cranky little Neil, flight status was a complete disaster. Just when we I thought this nightmare was over, the pilot made an announcement, “due to thunderstorms we’ll have to circle around for another 15 mins.” Neil heard this and went ballistic. He took off his seat belt and in classic Neil style rolled on the floor, kicked his feet, yelled on top of his voice, and kept screaming, “get me out of here!” Puke bag in one hand and a cranky toddler in the other was not the image I had when I signed on for this deal. I most surely was sedated when I agreed to this.
But all that exhaustion and craziness went right out the window when I saw my parents and sister. They were bobbing among hundreds of other people and literally holding their hearts out and waving it right at us. Graphic! But that is exactly how it was. For that brief moment, it felt like it was just us at that airport. Sweeping us off our feet and smothering us with hugs and kisses. It took care of any sickness I had and threw it out into the pouring rain.
I remember saying out loud, “Welcome home!”
The rain came down hard, but where was that going to stop the merriment. Neil was so overwhelmed. His poor mind couldn’t take all that was coming his way. Hundreds of people, taxis, torrential rain, hunger and sleep. The poor fella was going bonkers. But once he had his milk and grandma’s cookies, he was back in action. He put the window down, felt the rain with his hands, and went nuts over all the passing cars and trucks. He was ecstatic to say the least. But the long ride back lulled us both into a coma of sorts. If it wasn’t for the incessant nausea, my folks would have had to wheel me out into the house on a stretcher.
Morning pretty much went in catching up on sleep and feeding our starved stomachs. Mom’s food has no comparison. All I’ve been doing is pigging out on her great stash.
It gives me so much joy to see Neil revel and blossom around the love and companionship that he gets from his aunt and grandparents. We have two dogs and some parakeets at home. His days are full as he runs around these four-legged friends and feathered creatures. He sits on the dog, takes them out for a walk, feeds the birds, and waves good morning and good-bye to all the maids, newspaper boys, milkmen, and everyone else who makes everybody else’s day start!
Namma Bengalur is not all hunky dory! It has its share of pitfalls and failures. I can choose to dwell on the insane traffic, the suffocating pollution, the stomach filling loads of dust, heaps of garbage, or I could simply enjoy home for what it is. So much has changed, but so much remains unchanged.
I can see the old giving way to new. While at church for mass there were so many new faces who had taken on the roles of the elders who now sat in pews. On my morning walks, I see the same old BWSSB lady sweeping the streets with a broom hunched over like the hunch back of Notre Dame. The bus stop romances, the park side discreet meetings, coffee shop gatherings, and people walking all over with or without a purpose, laugh club sessions in the parks are things I’ve grown up watching. How is it that a city can change so much in such a short span of time, and yet remain so unchanged? To top this off, I’ve come when the Anna Hazare movement is in full swing. Jan Lokpal vs. Lok Pal. Do I fully understand what it is? Nope. Do I plan on understanding it? Yes! Of course!
Every relationship goes through a cycle. There is intense passion at the beginning and then you begin to see things for what they really are. Problems crop up. Then they settle down and fall into a rhythm. I hope this romance with the city lasts and does not come crumbling down. There is no time to sit around and enjoy the stillness of things anymore. It is simply astounding how things happen here. I suppose, “we are like this only.”