author ~ traveler ~ consultant

Like slipping into a comfortable pair of jeans

May 10th, 2012 | 1 Comment

That is what it feels like, to go to India. A psychic friend once told me that fish always prefer to go back to the temperature of the water they were born in and that we humans tend to do the same, on a metaphysical level. Not sure how scientific that observation was, but I will admit that it takes just a day or two of being back in India before I settle down comfortably in an environment that could not be more different than the one I live in. Pleasantly tolerant of non-stop honking of cars and noisy traffic, breathing nonchalantly the fumes of pollution, looking at strangers in the eye for no reason at all and feeling unaccountably connected to them—my old habits come back to me so quickly. Jay walking? No problem. Addressing taxi drivers and auto-rickshaw drivers as “regarded sir”? Of course. Being called “dada” or “older brother” by my cousins with unsolicited respect? Totally natural. Tea and snacks at ten am at a business meeting? Isn’t that the protocol everywhere? Knowledgeable pharmacists who can prescribe medications that work and cost a tiny percent of what I spend in the US? But isn’t that how healthcare is supposed to be?

Social interactions so laid back. Easy. As I step out of the airport back home, I hunch over, hands deep in my jacket pockets, to shield myself from the cold foggy afternoon wind—my pleasant dream is over. Where are my comfy jeans?

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