Goodbyes…or see you on Skype

            So this is the post dedicated to the most amazing group of people I’ve ever met. I’d love to go into detail about how each person is unique in their own way, how they all have their quirks that make them so unique and special to me. This is the senti posting. They made me give them a speech, they called for it three times and on the third I finally caved. Image This was in Sagar and Ritesh’s house, where I finished packing and my stuff was housed while I was back for the last week. Although a couple people were missing, most were there and it was amazing just to be with them for the day. What I can say, and what I did say, and what I wanted to say I think are a few different things. They are the reason I stayed in India so long, they are my best friends, family, laughter, maasti, guides, teachers, students, yellers, I don’t know what else they could be, but they were and ard my everything that I had there. This is not pushing others down, this is not my intention, but they are the best people I’ve ever met, ever, as a group and individually. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so at ease and comfortable and be able to be me to the fullest with any other group of people, ever.            

It was more difficult than I expected to say bye to the kids. About 6 of us pulled up to the kids’ place. We hung out and spoke with them for a while. Apparently Chapel was doing some not so great things so I yelled at him (with love, and he knew it). Half way through Ishwar started translating my Hindi into Kanada along with my facial expressions. He said, “Didi, tum hindi bat kare aur me kanard bolunghi” so he doubled the yelling while laughing at himself but the undertones were still serious. After that, I started my goodbyes. At a certain point the tears came, for both me and Ishwar. There are tears just thinking about it. “Rona mat,” I heard several times from Ishwar. It was really hard –  really, really hard.            

I have the best friends ever though. Manoj just skyped me with the kids. As long as I don’t have a job I can skype with them every Wednesday just as if I was there with them in the park. Ishwar and Ganesh both passed all of their exams. They sat in Rajput, a restaurant, drank cold drinks (soda) and asked me to guess which ones they’re drinking – 1 Fanta, 1 Sprite, 1 empty bottle (from Ganesh because he already finished his Fanta). It was adorable. They had fun looking at the picture in my house and then saw that I had a tv behind me. I showed them the view from my window of the city outside. Ishwar had to repeat, “rona mat” with me a few times. I just started to loose it and tears flowed.Image

       Back to leaving, the idea was that a few people could come to the airport with me. What ended up happening is that there were 8 of us in total in a car. Again, how am I that lucky that 7 of my friends would come in a car ride for 4 hours, just to drop me at the airport? We stuffed mine and Maitê’s stuff on the rack on top (she was in town for less than a day after traveling and was heading to Mumbai for a day before she flew out too). With seat shifting, laughing, throwing things, sleeping, pretend sleeping, and being silly we arrived in Bombay. It was heart wrenching. We stood outside the entrance with this nervous air looming over us. At times I thought I should just stop delaying the inevitable and just go in. I hurt the whole time. When the time actually came it was even worse. I hugged everyone; Sucuri and Vipin came to meet us there as well. It was so hard. I lost it at one point and the tears just didn’t stop. I walked through and the officers, I think, felt my pain. I checked in with tears in my eyes, but not without an argument with the airline because the price for checking bags was much less than on the internet. I had three huge bags. The arguing was in Hindi. Then I just lost it again as I walked away and walked back to wave at my friends between the security door. It was then obvious that they understood how hard it was and he called me to meet them again. It was awesome, but then like pouring salt on a wound. This second time when he called me back inside, I just walked away and cried.  When going through customs for leaving, when I handed over my A form, the woman asked if I was coming back, I had to say no; I cried again.            

I did have some fun going through security and speaking with the officers in Hindi. They were relaxed (as in sometimes security can just be mean). I had a painted wine bottle in my carry on and didn’t know it (I stuffed it in while checking in because my bag was slightly too heavy). They kept making daru jokes (this was a whiskey bottle, not wine). I showed it to them and they looked confused but they allowed it through. Without thinking that I should eat something or charge my dying phone, I walked to the gate and on to the plane and slept as soon as we took off. I only woke up only food and as we landed. Abu Dhabi has no plug points or charging stations so I went around asking employees and travelers if they had a converter I could borrow and knew where would be a plug point. I found a nice Australian guy who lent me his converter and then disappeared before I could give it back to him. I found a computer with free internet (they have that at least) and messaged my friends. Boarding the second flight was easier and I slept mostly through that one as well. The poor Emirati who sat next to me crawled over me at some point to go to the bathroom I think. I felt so bad but only woke for a half second as he was finishing crawling out.            

And then, I was back in New York. More on that later… As for now, I’m going through not only India withdrawal, but major friend withdrawal. But they know that

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