I awoke early this morning to the sounds of the monsoon outside and the cock crowing at the break of dawn. The power was once again out, the fan not spinning; and tho not hot, the air was muggy. Through the window, I could see all manner of green leaves, wet and happy from the early morning showers.
This would be my last morning in Mallapally; and that made me sad. I’m not sure the next time I’ll see my grandfather. And while communication between us is difficult since he cannot speak (or understand) English and I cannot speak Malayalam, we make it work. It’s much easier with my mother and my uncle around. There’s just something about being around the person who raised my mother since birth in the place where I was born that gives me great calm and satisfaction. There were so many moments in my mother’s life that could have easily led me to grow up in this place, but instead those decisions led her to America, and my childhood and adulthood there itself instead of here. And I’m in awe of that – in awe of this quiet little oasis where I was born, in awe of my grandfather, in awe of my mother (and my father), just in a general sense of awe as I thought these things with the rain outside.
In a few hours, we’ll be driving to the houseboat to spend the rest of the day and night on it traversing the Kerala backwaters, another must-see part of India, and specifically Kerala. The last several days, we’ve had no internet connection and have been literally cut off from the world. Though at times frustrating, for the most part, it’s been liberating to be away for so long, to recharge. We’ve seen so much. We have done so much these last couple weeks. The morning we left Los Angeles seems a lifetime ago. We’ll be back in a couple days.
As I lay in bed, the sounds of the rain are also accompanied by the sounds of singing, by my mother, grandfather and uncle singing a devotional song. I prayed too, for my family and my friends, every single person that had made an impact upon my life and (I’d like to think) vice versa. I prayed for their health. I prayed for their happiness. I prayed for their good lives. And so I fell asleep again.
When I awoke once again, it was to the image of my sister when she was but a little girl. And she was crying. We were at the airport. I ran over and gave her the biggest hug I could possibly give. And I cried too. As I awoke, I had a tear roll down my cheeks.
Today is her birthday.
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