I have been staying with a family since I arrived in Gurgaon on Wednesday. Meenu is the mom and she works for Disha, which is the organization that runs that Outward Bound courses for The Heritage School that I visited. Disha and Heritage partner closely, are next door to one another and staff are very connected.
Meenu and I hit it off immediately – she is fun, funny, adventurous – not the archetypal Indian woman, at all. She is one of the instructors for the Outward Bound-type courses that Disha runs for the school. She has two children – Tonya and Tanoush (17 and 15, respectively) – and her husband Sundeep, who is an international pilot. Her brother, also an international pilot who lives in Qatar, was in town the other day – and he was picked up by their other brother who is a farmer in the village they all grew up in. So, needless to say, it has been a full house. I have loved staying in their house and being involved in family life!
We have gone out for great Indian meals – they take great delight in my desire to eat/try anything! I have tagged along on errands to pick up kids (seems to be the same ferrying of teenagers to dance and music and sports as in the US). I get to ask all sorts of questions about life here that I have been curious about. Sundeep and I talk about religion and politics. We laugh a lot – he has such a great laugh and they are both so curious about the world (and know a lot themselves – both having traveled quite a bit and both are well-read)! I told Sundeep that since he can fly huge airplanes, I totally trust his driving (imagine weaving through lanes of traffic at high speeds with no real lanes, only half of the drivers using signals – and that is normal. in fact, some of you i know would LOVE the driving here!).
A great moment was the other day when I was sitting on my bed working on the computer and Sundeep came in with a snack (couldn’t tell you the name — but sort of like donuts – fried dough and you eat them with pickled mango) – he joked that he was using me as an excuse to heat up a snack – but really he was hungry. And meenu came in and we all sat around talking about life. They are wonderful, kind and generous. They spend lots of time trying to convince me to move here – we are delighted with each other. I feel so blessed and lucky to spend this time with them. And all I can hope is that some day I can welcome strangers into my house with as much grace and kindness as they have offered me.
More coming from me later — but I leave this afternoon…. where did the 6 weeks go? or really, the last 3.5 months in this region of the world…. so intoxicating, so intriguing. Now, I will spend 3 weeks in a whole different kind of world. After learning how to be here, I feel that I am going to need to readjust myself, learn a new way of being….
talk soon friends — much love — AK