departures and insights

one of the smiles i will miss the most...

here i sit, half a world away from my dear india. to be honest, i never thought this day would happen and now that it's here, i wish it weren't.

on the flight home, i watched a film, the best exotic marigold hotel. it was beautiful, hilarious, and one of the more accurate descriptions of india i've found. my favorite quote from there was when one of the characters says:

"can there be anywhere else in the world that is such an assault on the senses? those who know the country well just go about their business. but nothing prepares the uninitiated for this riot of noise and color--for the heat, the motion. the perpetual teeming crowds...initially you're overwhelmed. but gradually you realize it's like a wave. resist and you'll be knocked over. dive into it, and you'll swim out on the other side."
now, i am utterly alone sitting in an insipid airport with one or two stragglers walking past me about every 20 minutes--if i'm lucky. the singular, banal noise is the elevator music softly buzzing, with no symbiosis of life, traffic, animals, gabbar singh streaming from three separate cell phones, and someone yelling "madame" to get my attention. all the passersby wear neutrals and minimal adornments, and i find myself absolutely bored and heartbroken. i keep thinking of all the people who made me promise i wouldn't forget them. and the people who said they'd sell everything they had to help us come back. the only thing that seems to assuage my unexplainable vulnerability and anxiety is the thought of going back to india soon, but even that is uncertain. in life i've learn to expect the unexpected.

...but i digress. i've already written a sappy love note to india. so instead, i'm going to make a running list of what the last week has taught me through my ridiculous bout with the indian government and trying to leave the country. maybe someday i'll have the courage to write a little about how india overall has changed me....but at this point, it's not likely.

so here, it is, ladies and gentlemen--what this last week (read: trying to escape india!) has taught me:

  1. first and foremost, i've learned that i relate more easily to a couple in their sixties than most people my age. i could have stayed up all night talking to the sweet welfare missionaries about: GPS systems and geocaching, astrology and telescopes, genealogy, geeking out about tandem bikes, talking about camping and wilderness survival, and so many other way more interesting things. i have so much to learn from those with more experience and wisdom, including my wonderful parents. which leads me to....
  2. my parents are beautiful, wonderful, wise, loving people who would do anything for me. what a blessing i have in my life, when i've seen and met those whose parents don't even want them. mine stayed up all night praying for me, no matter what time it was, and updating individuals at 4 in the morning who i'm sure really didn't care as much as they did. these guys can tell from my "hello" if i'm happy or on the verge of hysterics. which leads me to....(man i'm good at these transitions!)
  3. i've learned that as much as i think i'm in control of my emotions, and i make the "sour face" until my face turns blue, i burst out crying at wildly inappropriate times, and i burst out laughing at equally inappropriate times. basically i'm 5 years old and 65 years old at the same time.
  4. i've learned that there is power in voices. voices that are raised up to heaven in my (and others') behalf, voices that call and comfort me, voices who have a meaningful conversation with me, voices who obstreperously contacted the FRRO and west marredpally police incessantly, and voices who softly, kindly, and consistently told me it'd all be okay, that they love me, to please come back to india, and that, despite their beliefs, asked that "God be with me."
  5. i've learned that we are always watched over, and that there is a plan for us. in the height of my troubles, there was a lot of sitting and waiting. i decided to start preparing for my talk i'll be giving at home about india, and read one thing that lead to another and another and another which eventually lead me to a page in the scriptures about courage. i couldn't help but feel all at once that i was not alone as i read a compilation of every scripture relating to courage:
be not afraid...God is with thee
be strong and of a good courage
be thou strong and very courageous
she was steadfastly minded to go
let no man's heart fail...thy servant will go and fight
be ye valiant
deal courageously and the Lord shall be with the good
he thanked God, and took courage
God hath not given us the spirit of fear
his heart began to take courage
never had i seen so great courage
courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory

i'm grateful beyond understanding for india, and hope to return there as soon as possible. here's hoping to jumping right back into "real life" here in the states, so i can quickly be cured of my broken-heartedness and perceivable boredom of the senses. 

one of the more popular sayings in india is:
"everything will be alright in the end.
and if it's not alright, it's not the end."



anitamombanita said...

not much I can say to that other than amen. xoxo

thatonegirl said...

Oh Brook, I am so grateful to be able to hear your perspective on life and everything in between. You are truly amazing and I love being able to hear about your adventures, trials and triumphs. Only you could be stuck in India with such a great attitude and making friends in the midst of it. You are courageous like a Weasley, that must be where the red hair comes in:)

Brooke Evans said...

Love it. You are great.

pops said...

Thanks for sharing your real life, wherever it happens to be...

Ricardo Ayala said...

Where did the little red-headed girl who attended my wedding go? Where did the young woman whose college graduation I attended go? I guess she went to live her life.
After reading your notes I realized that there is much of Grandma Blanca in you, as if you were living what she could not.
Thank you for what you wrote, it made me reflect in how much we give life for granted.
Hey, since when nieces teach uncles?

Viviana said...

Ricardo, your comment made me nostalgic. Brook you know my admiration for you. - Love you