7 days, 42 years, 3 times

I have been to India twice before. The first time was for seven months. I traveled to many parts of northern India, from Kolkata (Calcutta), Goa, Mumbai (Bombay) up to Rajastan and the base of the Himalayas. I was fresh out of college and with no job to speak of, I had little responsibility and made the most of it. My girlfriend at the time became my wife soon after, and we took the two boys for the first time two years ago. We only went to Kolkata, but also went to Nepal.

When we told Noah we were moving, Kolkata was all he knew of India, and this made it a hard sell.

But here we are. Noah and I have been here a week. It took me little time to get used to the new environment; Noah is having a bit of a harder time. But that is to be expected. All in all, he is adjusting quite well.

In this first week I have begun to learn my role a bit. Ketaki affectionately told me I am a Bengali housewife. (We are in a hill station in Tamil Nadu; her “Bengali” reference comes from her father’s side of her family.) I have my mornings pretty much figured out. I wake up in the morning around 6:00 and make tea for three of the four family members. We drink tea outside on our steps and watch the early morning sun rise from its own slumber. Ketaki goes to work and I do a little shopping for the next couple meals. Somewhere in there is late morning tea.

Internet has finally arrived at our house, and so writing and communicating with the world I left is finally possible. When I will write is yet to be determined. I am writing this at five in the evening; Ketaki will be home any minute and supper will be served. This time may not be the best time on a routine basis.

Yesterday was my birthday. It was my first birthday outside the United States. After I shopped, we went out to lunch, and then a little later went out for afternoon tea. Tomorrow we will leave out immediate area and go see the wonderful hills in which we live.

I have almost enough poems to make a chapbook on my experiences in India, which were written based on my previous two trips. My wife has suggested “I Am A Bengali Housewife” as the title of my next poem. Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it will come from our excursion into “Hill Country.” Only time will tell. But I have a feeling it won’t take long to complete the chapbook.

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