January 18th – 19th, 2016 – Delhi, India to Ottawa, Canada
After texting with NJ a few more goodbyes I was at the airport in Pune ready to do my last internal flight before heading home. I was an expert at stuffing as much as possible into my carry-ons to avoid the excess baggage weight. Meanwhile, at the Pune counter, another helpful young man insisted he try to pack more things into my carry-on! Oh my goodness not again, those unmentionables 😛 Maybe this was a way for them to see what foreign girls carry in their suitcases!! So here we go again…apparently he was able to get even more things into my carry-ons so in the end, I was grateful and embarrassed. This Is India. Same security water bottle story repeats itself in Pune except this time they want to see what’s in one of my carry-ons. Oh wow, I have to unstuff this thing and search for a little statue I bought. All my things were everywhere and then they wanted to see what was in my make-up bag. The guy was funny because he held up my eyebrow plucker and asked me what this was used for, I was laughing so hard he started laughing too. Why is the airport such an adventure for me?
On the plane I sat next to a little boy around 4 years old and his dad. The boy was pretty chatty asking me questions like where am I going, am I all alone, touching my hair and smiling. I entertained this little boy for about an hour and then the dad said his son rarely talks to anyone. I was shocked and happy at the same time 🙂 For some reason kids open up to me, I don’t know why. Then….. in the aisle over was his wife and I only realized that when I looked up and made eye contact with her. She was not impressed with me having fun with her son and talking to her husband so I had to stop talking and entertaining. Is This India?
The eagle landed in Delhi and I was meeting another blogging friend before heading home. I had many hours to kill so it was nice to have a visit with one more person, Srinath Krishnamoorthy from Kerala, India. Please visit his awesome blog SrinathKrishnamoorthy because not only is he a fellow blogger, he is a published author and his book is flying off shelves and running out at book fairs across India! The title is “Hope We Never Meet Again” I am currently reading it right now and it’s a great page turner. You can buy his book on sites like Amazon and FlipCart and I highly recommend reading it. Very big thank you to Darshith for introducing me to Srinath’s blog months ago because if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be meeting Srinath today. Thanks Darshith 😀
After getting my luggage and getting organized, I talked with Srinath on the phone to find out how we will recognize each other. I said I’m the only foreign girl standing outside near gate 3 at domestic arrivals terminal 3 😉 Sure enough we found each other! Srinath is a ball of energy with such inspiration when he talks. He was at a Delhi Book Fair during the weekend and over 250 copies of his book sold out and he managed to save one just for me. He gave me the book and personally signed my copy right there. I was so thankful and happy to meet him and he said this is the first book which is leaving India to another country! How amazing is that? He also gave me several bookmarks that I could pass around to my friends and family which I am currently doing now 😀 We talked for almost two hours about life, quotes, tough times, writing, finding a publisher and I explained my reasons for coming and my personal history to him with tears of course. Srinath is very understanding and also has a big heart just like all my other friends. He said I need to write my story, get it out I can write a book about my experience and said it might be possible to co-author with him one day. I was extremely interested and motivated when he said this and yes I still am Srinath! I’m going to work on this and keep you posted for sure my friend. Originally we were supposed to meet in Pune but couldn’t because of Srinath’s busy schedule with promoting his book but it worked out to meet in Delhi after all. Srinath, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for meeting me at the airport and encouraging me to write my story which I will do. It was an absolute pleasure talking with you and hearing your thoughts, feelings, insights and perspectives on life. These are the types of conversations that I love because they connect us, we’re all dealing with something therefore we’re all connected. We just need to show up. This Is India.
It was time for me to check my luggage and Srinath had to go. We said our goodbyes and again me being the emotional one, but by this point, it was ok and the people at Delhi airport were like family to me now since I’ve been there so many times in the past 3 weeks! They knew me by now 😉
I went to the Air Canada ticket counter this time and checked my heavy suitcases in and when flying International with them, you are allowed 2 complimentary bags. No more excess baggage and no more Rupees. I watched my bags zoom across as I waved bye bye to them. I saved my ticket stubs from most of my flights and had to take a pic to show you! Here’s my famous luggage which is very flashy because I purposely bought something that would stand out so it wouldn’t get lost. Mission accomplished on that one.
I went to eat at a restaurant and then texts and calls were coming in from my India friends wishing me bon voyage which was so sweet of them. I stayed in touch until I got on the plane at 12:45 a.m. on January 19th. I felt sad leaving them but so happy I was able to have this lifetime experience full of great, great memories. I’ve been enjoying writing about this trip and I thank all my readers, followers new and old for joining me on this trip via WordPress. Like Darshith said to me, if it wasn’t for WP I wouldn’t have had these friendships, experiences or this trip and he’s right. WordPress has changed my life and it can also change yours in so many ways because so much is possible. If you want something bad enough and there’s a wall facing you, jump over it, knock it down do whatever you need to do. When there’s a will there’s a way.
I flew back to Canada connecting in Toronto and landing in Ottawa. The temp was -30C and lots of snow was on the ground. Big difference from Pune at +30 C just a few days ago. My great friend Helene picked me up at the airport with a winter coat for me to put on for the ride home which was so nice of her. Merci beaucoup Helene!!
I messaged everyone back in India that I made it home and it was freezing here. This Is Canada.
Some questions I’ve been asked by my friends and family since I’ve been back:
Q: How was the food?
A: Amazing, I loved it all even the spicy food
Q: Did you get sick?
Q: Did you have a culture shock, you must have had that?
A: No I just went with the flow had an open mind and heart because hey This Is India.
Q: How was the weather?
A: Great! Always between +18 C to +32 C depending on where I was (jealousy…) and no rain
Q: How was it meeting your blogging friends?
A: So inspiring and so much fun, they were my highlight that’s for sure
Q: Were you able to meet ChicWithMessyBun?
A: No unfortunately not, her mom became sick so we had to cancel. Both of us were sad but understanding. Next time we will have to meet. Miss you Bhavya!
Q: How was the Retreat?
A: Awesome, I loved everything about it
Q: Did you take lots of pictures?
A: Yes, probably close to 500
Q: Would you go back again?
A: In a heartbeat.
So Srinath, in honor of your book, I Hope We DO Meet Again! When I come back I’ll visit you in Kerala like you insisted and I hope I pronounce it right!! That was so funny learning how to say it like a local with you. This Is India.