Honestly, time is the most deceptive element I have ever experienced. Time measures in a way which we call linear; time doesn’t feel linear to me.
It’s been nearly two decades since I have last seen some of my cousins. There are some cousins, aunts and uncles whom I haven’t met until most recently. This trip to India has re-introduced me to my family.
Where has the time gone since I last played in the park with my two sweet, loving and fun cousins?
Where has the time gone since I sat at the Olive Garden in Times Square with my beautiful Aunty and Cousin?
Where has the time gone since I last heard the voice of my uncle?
Somehow we remain the same. We holdfast onto who we belong to and what we know to be our values and skills and even mindsets. Yet, we evolve. We marry. We have children, we grow up, we grow old, we remain youthful. We somehow change.
Where has the time gone since I first planned this trip a few short years ago? The wait was long and everlasting at times… yet, here I am. I am in India.
Where has the time gone since I first stepped on the plane to India only 10 days ago? It has flown passed me, yet so much has happened and so much is still yet to happen!
Time pauses for no one. So much can happen in such a short amount of time… just as nothing can happen for such a long time.
I write all this not to sound philosophical but, to truly pose the question… is linear a proper measurement of time?
Life is a roller coaster. This trip has so far been one of the highest peaks.
From the moment my plane landed in this amazing city, anticipation flooded my veins. I stepped off the plane and walked through the world’s 8th biggest airport terminal at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India.
Officials guided us down a long hallway where, “foreigners,” stopped to fill out customs paperwork.
I waited in line to find out I had filled it out in a forbidden colour. I waited in line again… where I’m pretty sure the lady didn’t speak a word of English… so, she just handed it back to me and let me pass.
I passed by sniffer dogs who desperately needed a snuggle… I walked through the xray machine and then waited by the carousel for my baggage.. which I didn’t have time to put proper identifiers on… yet luckily, they came to me without a struggle.
I passed by more security and to my pleasure, learned that many of the rumours I had heard about india were wrong. There was no terrible smell after stepping off of the plane.
The airport was beautiful. Complete with ambiant lighting, cultural scuptings and beautiful plants and waterfalls.
An even more beautiful sight beheld me as I stepped out of arrivals to be greeted by my Mana Masi (my gorgeous aunty) and my Dorab Uncle (It had just been too long). I’m not really a crier… but, it was a really emotional experience.. and I may or may not have teared up a little… in all fairness… it was like 3am after like 3 plane rides. It felt amazing to be in India hugging my family. It was a moment I thought I would share with my mama… somehow, I believe I did. I believe she has been with me this whole trip.
I braced myself for Bombay traffic and gawked at the steering wheel on the right side of the car. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of how different everything seemed but, how I braced myself for some crazy culture shock.. but, really, it all somehow felt normal to me.
The excitement of seeing my loved ones again and tasting all these amazing foods kept me running on adrenaline for the first few days. The passed few days, I’ve definitely caught up to my jet lag… but have also been nothing short of amazing.
The sights, the smells, the TASTE of India… that’s only the shell. The HEART of India is in it’s people. I’ve always longed to be a part of a big family… and MY GOODNESS, am I ever!
There are no words to describe how amazing my family is. All I can think is… AMY! YOU NEED TO BE HERE!
My cousin’s wedding was INCREDIBLE. Parsees here are so different to the ones in Canada. Somehow more accepting. More loving. More liberal. Less extremist. (Saying this might stir up some feelings to Parsees outside of India – and that is NOT my intention) I guess what I mean is that learning about Parsees from my own family is a lot easier than learning from a community in Canada which I don’t really belong to.
I’m learning so much… my Gujarati is still more than rusty but, I’m slowly catching myself use some lingo that we don’t use in Canada. I’m learning that everything tastes better. Everyone dances with life. Everyone sings with confidence and when the electric music ban takes effect at 10pm… the party isn’t over… it just gets more creative. I’m learning that weddings are a family event to be embraced for more than just 1 day.
I’m learning that Pizza McPuffs and non-smiling Germans might be my only complaint this trip. I’m learning that happiness is about love. I’m learning that I’m not as fast as I need to be when it comes to picking up tabs. I’m learning that generosity has a whole new level in India that truly humbles me and softens my heart.
From my first bite of dosa and my first sip of Thums Up to the Palao served on banana leaf at the wedding, I have enjoyed every bite of all the traditional Indian food I have eaten. But, beyond that, I am in love with Chillie Chicken Pizza – it’s so spicy but so addictive! I may or may not have had 3 slices tonight. Also… I haven’t need my immodium this whole trip… *snap snap snap* So, that’s another rumour out the window!
Mind you, my wonderful Masi has made sure I avoid outside water and foods guaranteed to get me sick. 🙂
I’m staying in Wadia Baug.. it’s a Parsee colony. This building is the exact building my mama grew up. She lived on the 5th floor.. I’m on the 3rd right now. I’ve visited Cusrow Baug breifly. (That’s another colony for parsees out here). I intend to visit there again since I have so many wonderful family members out there also..
I’ve gotten a chance to browse the shops at The Palladium Mall as well as the booths all along the Colaba Causeway… I’ll get more shopping done soon. I’ve learned the art of haggling, sometimes means walking away. And yes, it’s an art.
Today, we went swimming briefly. I’ve never once worn a swimming cap until today.. it was followed by an evening of advil to take away the headache.. Hahaha. It was wonderful to be in an outdoor pool mid december.
I love seeing all the lights from all the weddings. I love that December is wedding season.
I loved my midnight drive by through Bandra to get icecream and scope out celebrity houses. I love the look of Marine Drive at night time and will be excited to see it in the day.
I love that I share my North American accent with my new cousin from New York.
I love that I have an accent and am a foreigner.
I love India
I love my family
I wish I could be more descriptive and delve into the details of every story… but, alas, there is a 10.5 hour time difference. It’s now almost 3am and I truly need to get over this jet lag and finally adapt to this wonderful place so that I can continue to get more stories for my next blog.
I love you all.