June 20, 2010
I’m back in Delhi, with all of its glorious humidity, sweating after showers, while cooking, while walking. But a few, final words on Dalhousie.
I left early the morning of June 14, taking two buses to get to Amritsar my departure point for getting back to Delhi. On the train to Delhi, about six hours I sat next to this family with screaming monsters, climbing all over the seats, not too much fun, but I made the best of it. The last few days in Dalhousie were spent coaching, attending a wonderful party for Myna and Onky’s 25th wedding anniversary, staying with some friends of Mohan’s, who I just love, attending a prayer service for the Dalai Lama at the Tibetan crafts center and making photo prints for the many people who let me photograph them. I also befriended a number of children at a nearby teashop and gave them a number of pictures of themselves. One of the children was a one year old boy who only smiled and easily let me pick him up.
The prayer service at the Tibetan Center was something that I stumbled upon and I just went and sat down, was given tea and was greeted with all of the friendliness of me being part of instead of an external person. The prayer flag man was serving some food and he came up to me and shook my hand and was so very friendly. I was offered lunch but Onky and Myna were hosting a lunch for their anniversary.
I was so very happy to be able to attend Onky and Myna’s 25th anniversary celebration. I wasn’t able to attend their wedding, but the fact that Onky and I have been friends for almost 30 years made this very special for me. Additionally, I’m treated as one of the family. The party was sheer celebration and happiness and Myna’s parents came from Amritsar and her brother and family came in from Dubai. Myna, like me, lost a sibling and although we didn’t talk about this, I’m sure that she was missing her brother at this celebration.
Since the house was full with relatives, I shifted to some friends of Mohan’s for two evenings. They live right next to the Tibetan Center and they don’t use servants. (I’ve become somewhat comfortable with servants and although I would never have any, I am able to engage with those who I come into contact with. I gave Monhan’s personal assistant and his family so many pictures and played with their children). I felt so very comfortable with them and they were both full of so much love. They told me about their children, one of whom resides in Milwaukee, and their grandchildren. I was able to help them load pictures onto their laptop and also taught them how to clean up their hard drive. We watched together as a huge monkey sat in their yard and ate the one ripe apple from their tree. We also walked up the hill together to go to Onky’s. They live in Delhi and I’m hoping that they contact me when they come back here in October.
I love Dalhousie and I’m so grateful to Onky, Myna, Mohan, Anant and Zorby for allowing me to share in their joy when they go into the scrumptious mountains. There weren’t as many daisies this year, but I did see rainbows, snow and lots of monkeys. I walked and walked and found love from Tibetans, coaching school boys, Indians and even those monkeys, which I still treasure seeing. Will I ever go back to Dalhousie? I’m not entirely sure, but I will always have incredibly fond memories of my times with my Indian family in this very cool hill station.