Five Years since India

IMG_0716It is five years this week since I returned from India.  I went back once, to visit Roberta who was teaching at the journalism school, but have not had an opportunity to visit  since 2009.

It has been an eventful five years.   I retired from Ford, my father passed away,  I spent 14 months in China, had cancer, we relocated to New Hampshire, I started a Ph.D, and took a new, full time job in Boston.   Through all this, I have not forgotten or lost a warm and nostalgic feeling for India.  In quiet moments, I still hear the chime of bells from the home next door, signaling the beginning of Hindu evening prayers.  My nostrils recall the pungent combination of odors and fragrances that is so characteristically India.  Occasionally, I eat at an Indian restaurant in Lexington, MA, and can still taste Leila’s fabulous soups and chapati.  When I take in the fall colors of New Hampshire, I also remember the beautiful colors of India, textiles and temples and brightly hued kolam and rangoli in front of doors and entrances.Kuttuvilakku

 But mostly India resides in my heart–in the wonderful people I worked with (and from whom I still hear on occasions of life and work events–keep those emails and FB notes coming!), in the staff that helped me, Marty and Roberta, and especially Dad, and in friends made both Indian and expatriate during my three years in Chennai.  There were, of course, frustrations to living in India, and they were numerous–but as with most memories, time has erased any hard edges and put them in proper, and even amusing,  perspective.

April 2007 205

Much has changed, especially at Ford India, since I was there–tremendous growth and additional sites, and many more people.  I’m glad I could play a part, however small, in laying the foundation for that.  But on balance, I am certain that India has given more to me than I to it.  Perhaps–only the universe knows for sure (: —we are not done with each other and  work or other opportunity will bring another chance to renew acquaintances.  I hope so.

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