My last full day in India. My driver Babu and I left Jaipur about an hour ago headed for Delhi. Delhi is where it all started on November 1st, thirty four days ago. This is where my flight landed when I arrived in India, with a nervous as hell American woman on board. We’re on our six hour treck back to the beginning. Back to where international flights are available. My 30 hour trek home starts tomorrow morning at 3:30AM.
Once you’re out of the small towns, or a bigger city like Jaipur, it’s wide open farm lands. Land as far as you can see growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables, especially vegetable oil. The vegetable oil plants are in season now and are just starting to be harvested. They have beautiful bright yellow flowers. Fields and fields of a bright yellow color fill the lands.
It’s nice being out of the busy towns. It’s quiet and really pretty. There’s a lot of pollution in the towns so its nice to be away from that. Dust fills the streets as pavement is only for the main roads. There’s no other pavement anywhere. All dirt. With monsoon season in the summer months, rain is hard to come by. Go check out some of the Facebook videos I posted when I was in the town centers to get a visual.
Suddenly I hear my guiding angle Babu say, “Mam, why you think?” I realize I’ve been locked in a daze staring out the window for a while now. Who knows how long. This question surprised me because Babu and I don’t communicate very much. Words are kept simple and to the point. Babu’s English isn’t expansive but I’m very grateful for what he does know.
I’m also surprised that he asked me this question and at this specific time. A) because of what I was actually thinking about at that time and ? because this is the first time in six days he’s asked me a conversational type question.
“Well Babu, you really want to know,” asking very slowly so he can understand. “Yes mam,” he replies. “Well, I was thinking about how much money Americans have compared to most Hindu people. I was thinking about the vacations we take, the houses we have, the cars we drive and all the clothes we have. I just gave that little girl a banana out the window and she pointed at the bag and begging for more. In America we throw bananas out because we buy too much and they go bad.” He then started flailing both his arms in the air saying, “Mam, you no think! You enjoy.”
I don’t know if Babu understood everything I had just slowly communicated to him but I do know he knew I was sad. He wanted me to be happy and enjoy myself. I’ve come to find out that’s a lot of his job, to make sure I’m happy, along with being kept safe. How am I supposed to be happy when I witness diaperless baby’s sitting on the side of the road and kids begging at our car window at every corner? Hmmm, much more work to be done here!!!
Babu then interrupts my writing, “Mam look! A motorcycle!” I looked up from my assigned backseat driver position and see it’s a bright orange Harley Davidson. It’s touring bike with all the hard bags which I’m sure are needed for storage while traveling around. For damn sure there’s no Hindu driver on that bike. 99% sure it’s a tourist. It’s the first “real” motorcycle I’ve seen in 5 weeks! Everything else are scooters. I couldn’t believe his excitement to see this bike. I explained to him this is what everyone drives in America, not scooters. I roll my eyes at myself and our culture and get back to writing.
If you want to know what you have in life and how lucky you are to live in America, come to India!!!
P.S. 5 minutes after writing this we stopped to use a bathroom. I then proceeded to pee in a hole in the ground, with my period. Yup! Try to APPRECIATE something everyday, if you don’t already!! We are soooooooo fortunate.