A taxi brought me the three hours from Pune to Mumbai, so I can meet my family at the Mumbai airport tonight at 11:30. A very nice driver named, Shankar, brought me. After we said goodbye, I felt I should have tipped him more than I did. I never know exactly what amount one should tip.
Since becoming a father, I have realized how deep a parent’s bond is to their children, a feeling of an almost physical connection. In one of my poems, I have a line that refers to “this animal belonging-together.” It’s like that. You feel connected on a cellular, instinctual, animal level. When I’m away from them, I feel some
physical part of me has been severed.
Probably because of being away from them, in reading the news these past weeks, I have been feeling especially sad for the parents of the children lost in the South Korean ferry disaster. I can’t imagine what they must be going through.
In a text from Amsterdam, Jennifer told me that poor Kellen threw up on the plane to the Netherlands. But I was so glad to hear that they made it safely there. Now, they’re on their final flight.
After my very hot, three-hour drive, I’m back at the West End hotel, in south Mumbai, not that close to the airport, but the Fulbright folks suggested it again, so I went for it. I think we’ll stay for two nights, so Jennifer and the boys will have a free day tomorrow and we can see the Gate of India and some sights I saw three years ago when I first came. Here are a couple of pics from my first trip.
The Gate of India is where everyone arrived by boat before the days of air travel. It’s on the Arabian Sea, and of course Americans and Europeans had to go through the Suez Canal to get down here. A pretty cool adventure it must have been.
Everywhere I go I am so impressed at how kind and friendly the Indian people are. The folks at the United States-India Education Foundation have been especially amazing. Here’s a shout-out to Sachin and Amrita, who have helped make this trip smooth-sailing so far!
Four more hours and I get to see Jennifer and the boys!