Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Fast 28 Days

When my parents first started talking about how long they'd like to come to India, I must admit, I was a little worried. Twenty eight days is a long time. However, after dropping them off at the airport one last time (which my Dad was proud to say was the sixth time he had been there in the past month), it's amazing how quickly those twenty eight days went by.
Sunrise camel ride at Manvar
From all accounts (or at least from what I could tell), they truly enjoyed and appreciated their India experience. India is an odd place; it either endears itself to visitors or chews them up and spits them out. Thankfully, my parents fit into the former category.

It certainly helped that in twenty eight days, they experienced exactly zero travel issues. No delayed flights, no drivers that didn't show, no hotels that had no idea they were coming. The closest thing they came to a travel issue was when I realized that my trusty driver Kailash was visiting his family in Khujaraho and not set to get back on his train until 4:30am when he was supposed to leave at 6:00am to take my parents to Agra. Ashok, Lindsay's driver, without us knowing helped save the day as he picked up Kailash from the train station and got him to our apartment in time. Even Kailash's train was on time. That never happens.
Jain temple at Jaisalmer Fort
In some respects, it will be nice to get back to a "normal" schedule (if such a thing exists here); however, I'm going to admit, I missed it a little this morning when I walked out of my bedroom and they weren't sitting in the living room reading the paper and drinking coffee (I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they went the full time without actually making a pot of coffee; let's just say they seemed to settle in with the Indian expat level of domestic help without much trouble).
Train platform at Jaipur, yes I wore that blue shirt a lot
On my drive to work this morning, Kailash, who gets more talkative when there are fewer people in the car, lead in with his usual, "Excuse me, sir..." (which is how he gets my attention when he wants to talk). What followed pretty much sums up my parents. "Your mother said she was going to get me some books with English lessons." If you know my Mom, this act wouldn't surprise you. He then said, "And your Dad. He's very much like you. His face looks like you. And he smiles a lot like you too." I'm not so sure I smile THAT much, but months like the last one sure help a person realize how lucky they are to have so much to smile about.

Enough of the sentimental stuff, I'm pretty sure Kailash just liked my Dad, a life-long employee of John Deere, because somehow they had a very in depth and highly developed 90 minute conversation about tractors on the way back from the Taj Mahal. "In depth" as in, Kailash was letting my Dad know what manufacturers were most popular in certain regions of India. Suffice to say, Dad was a little surprised by Kailash's knowledge of farm implements.
It's green and yellow but might not run like a Deere.

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