Was it all a dream? These peaceful days of slumber and solitude are all I know, now. But there are colours, faces, sounds, that leap up at me when I am lost in the tranquility of my surrounds. They dance in front of my eyes, taunting and reminding me, “Don’t forget us, we were real.”
I remember the heat and how sweat constantly trickled down my back, accumulating in the gentle curve of my lower spine.
I remember driving my scooter, alert but carefree as the wind whipped my hair and the dirt stuck to my face, forming muddy glue.
I remember her colours, vivid shades of blue, green, red, pink, purple, orange and yellow, sparkling against a curtain of grey and dusty brown.
I remember dancing. I remember wanting to move my body like never before in celebration of the life I was living. Inside. Outside. In the pouring rain.
I remember laughing with friends. Stories shared. The light and often comical side of life found in a land that is different and sometimes more difficult than the ones we know as home. Laughing from a place deep within my belly bubbling up through and out my heart. It roared. I couldn’t keep it in. I didn’t want to.
I remember the faces of children, some shy, some smiling, some staring solemnly or curiously at me. A foreign stranger.
I remember dancing with young girls, their hands in mine, twirling around and around and around, laughing that loud, hearty belly laugh. Dizzy and spent, falling down and then getting up to do it all over again.
I remember going home that night, a huge indelible smile on my face. Buzzing. More high than any drug could take me.
I remember sitting on the rocks at the beach watching the waves roll in, crash and splash as my orphan boys hunted for crabs. It was me and the hundreds of locals, on a regular Sunday afternoon. I was part of the crowd. A part of life. Content.
Now, I am separated from this place by the Bengal Sea and the sea of time. It is past. I am present. And my present keeps moving, unstoppably forward so that these memories grow more distant and farther behind me. This is life. This can’t be changed.
It was not an easy way of life. Physical comfort was short. But oh, how I loved this time, this place. I never wanted to be anywhere else.
And I still don’t.
We share a piece of soul, India and me. She keeps calling for me as I call her name. I felt her pulse and it became mine. Sisters of heart. Forever entwined.