Singapore Adventure

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Light Years Away
by venitha

Morning dawned early on our last day in India. After a fretful night of tossing and turning, sniffling and hacking, we were up with the sun to journey the last few hours back to Delhi, allowing ourselves sufficient time to stop at our driver Jittu's home and to see the , which we could not imagine how to pronounce and therefore dubbed with surprising suitably "the Q-tip".

With the remaining cash on our Buck Rogers-ish SM card, we called both our mothers on the other side of the world. My mother didn't answer, so I left happy 72nd birthday wishes on her answering machine, my cold and the sober morning hour preventing me from singing my family's usual off-key greeting.

Jim's mother we caught at home, and she pressed Jim for details of our travels, expressed appreciation of our recent blog entries, said she couldn't wait to see pictures. Marilyn's older sister Lucy traveled to India a lifetime ago; her tales, her photos, and her souvenirs brought this foreign and exotic land to glorious and colorful life. I treasure the lovely silver-embroidered stole that I inherited from Lucy's India far above anything I bought there myself.

Off the phone, Jim slammed the remainder of our shared glass of Smecta, made a face, and passed on the exciting news from his mother, our personal mailman.

"Guess whose 20th high school reunion is this summer?"

"No way."

"Hhhhway," Jim replied with a line from a nearly as old as my high school diploma.

Wow. I pictured my hometown, on some distant planet, and my teenage self, an alarming alien.

Occasionally over the years of our life together, as Jim and I have found ourselves in strange and outlandish situations, I've regarded Jim and struggled with reconciliation. "So you're Jim Xxxxxxxx."

This was a first, however, for me to look in the mirror and to feel that same unreality toward myself. "So you're Venitha Xxxxxx."

Oddly enough, the date of the reunion is bizarrely convenient for my attendance, for my summer plans include a trip to the US and a visit to my family in , light years away.