When I came to the US back in the 1980s, I was sure that I would return in a few years and do something meaningful in India. Circumstances and the urge to pay of student loans prompted me to stay for a few years after I graduated. By then, I had applied for a green card; so that prompted me to stay a few more years. Then I started dating Binita and the rest is history.
After years and years, I felt very much at home in Ahmedabad. With its unruly traffic, constant chaos and a host of other minor issues, I’m not sure I could live there. Yet, the amazing food, the love and warmth in the people of Ahmedabad, the interwoven social fabric, good friends and family makes Ahmedabad the center of the universe. The home I grew up in is gone, but there are plenty of familiar places and faces. I met some of them after decades but we spoke with ease as if I had seen them yesterday. I reconnected with a few cousins I hadn’t seen for ages. Everyone looked older and a bit chunkier and they all said this to me, “Oh my god, you have lost weight.” I wanted to tell some of them, “Ya, and you’ve become fat,” but that would not be politically correct!
I’m an hour from landing in Toronto. It has been an uneventful flight so far. I can’t wait to get home and sleep in my own bed. My throat is a bit scratchier, but I slept quite a bit on this flight too. I hope my scratchy throat doesn’t become a full-fledged cough/cold.