And so, my mind ran from one topic to another as I packed for an upcoming trip. My work sometimes takes me overseas,to different cultures, peoples and places. This time, business was taking me to the land of my ancestors,a land of contradictions, the mysterious subcontinent of India. It would not be my first visit to that country. Id been there before, as both my children were adopted in India Malika first, followed by Jonathan a few years later.
I had the opportunity, in my earlier visits, to experience the extremes and subtleties of this paradox known as India. Opulence and wealth existed side by side with poverty and decadence. Medieval villages, where life remained unchanged for centuries, contrasted sharply with modern, urban metropolises. Holymen dressed in long,flowing robes shared the crowded streets with executives in double- breasted suits or brightly colored saris. It was not strange to see a Rolls Royce jostling with a Brahma Bull for right of way through a crowded intersection. From the hustle and bustle of Bombay to the quiet waters of the Jammuna, one traversed not only time and space, but the very nature of reality. Perhaps, like everywhere, yet, nowhere else on Earth, one can find the best and the worst in India.
It would not be an extended trip, just a matter of a week, then back again. In a seemingly unending pattern there were pressing matters at home matters like upcoming deadlines, urgent household repairs and ongoing financial crises to be dealt with, but they would have to wait until my return. I was hoping to see Gideon and Marla before I left, but it was not to be. Much as I valued their friendship and missed them when theyre away, I sometimes feel that theyre just a figment of my imagination and do not exist at all. But then again, how could I ever doubt the times of my knowing, the times when Gideon and Marla had shed so much light onto what seemed like hopeless, burdensome situations. No, these two have seen me through some of the worst periods of my life. Im sure Ill be seeing them when I get back.
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