With the last minute details completed, I was on my way. Time seemed to ebb and flow into hours and days as airports, planes, flight attendants and taxis blended in harmony to transport one solitary traveler to his destination on the other side of the world.Day ran into night and night seemingly stretched into eternity as we droned across the oceans and continents. I must have fallen asleep a number of times before the flight ended.
Half groggy, and feeling as though Id experienced time travel through a mix-master, I finally deplaned into the bustling airport in Bombay, searching for my good friend, Pandayji who had promised to meet me. He was always on time, this old friend of mine. We had met years earlier on my initial visit to his country. From the first moment he spoke to me, I knew wed be friends forever. Though distance made it difficult for us to see each other more often, we have established a lively correspondence that keeps us up to date on family and business matters. It had been years since I last saw him and I so looked forward to our meeting again.
I had hardly reached the immigration and customs area when I spotted him. He had aged only slightly since the time Mardai and I waved good-bye to him at this very airport years ago. Pandayji was like the older brother Mardai never had. He treated her as if she were a princess and made absolutely certain that we would want for nothing while visiting his country. He grieved heavily when he learned of her death. His letters, expressing anguish and sorrow at my loss, brought solace to my soul and served as a balm to my spirit. This was Pandayji, my soul-brother, who greeted me now.
You look well, my brother, he said with a trace of a tear in his eye, as he gave me a warm embrace,it has been a long time.
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