Thursday, July 29, 2010

Back home

Here I am.Sitting at the dining table in the air conditioned comfort of my home. I am back from India, almost 2 weeks ago. The trip was good but it left me unsatisfied on so many different levels.

I was happy to be home with parents and sister. Enjoyed being pampered. Now I think back and realize that during the 6-7 weeks in India I even was a better parent to my lovely girls.(of course why wouldn't I be? I did not have to cook for them or feed them or get them ready for school. I just did not have to nag them for anything.)
Our trip to Shimla-Manali was interesting. Shimla IMO is a highly overrated tourist destination. The roads are very small and overcrowded with tourist buses/taxis. I was looking forward to seeing slopes of "deodars" but could see slopes with hotels everywhere. Anywhere we stopped for chai/coffee during our journey, my eyes were just busy spotting trash.
Manali was a little prettier but the hotel had no competition in the worst hotels category. It would be an understatement to say that the hotel room and the bathroom was bio-hazard. The tap water that we used for brushing the teeth and shower was dark yellow/black in color. No points for guessing that all of us came down with vomiting and diarrhea. It took a while to shake it off.After returning to Pune we were just scared to eat anything.
The only memorable thing during the trip was the drive to "Rohtang pass" from Manali. Too bad only me and my daughter went as all the other family members were down in their hotel rooms.
That drive is truly spectacular and breathtaking. The physical suffering prior to it just felt like "tapas" to be able to view such grandeur of the majestic Himalayas. I just do not have the words to explain what I saw in all directions. I saw how insignificant we are.That was a truly humbling journey and I am so grateful for that.
It also dawned on me, how american I have become over the years in more than one ways.
And it is not a bad thing at all. In fact it is quite liberating. I could be honest to my feelings about not being able to handle the physical/emotional stress of living in India. I was and still am a little sad and guilty about feeling that way but I now have the courage to admit it to myself and to my close ones.

The afternoon we returned home from our trip and 4 of us were sitting at the table all tired from the trip, the journey, the jet lag etc. and were nibbling the sandwiches we picked up on the way home, I had a sense of peace and being at home. I remember saying to the husband that, that was it, that was life him, me and the girls. Nothing else matters.
That is a same feeling I get every time I land in Indian soil though. It is weird but not entirely impossible to call both the countries my home. India is my birth land, my "janma bhoomi" and USA is my "Karma bhoomi".
I was home then and I am home now.