Sunday, February 22, 2009

last day

[I wrote this on January 11th 2009 - but we had no internet at the hotel. Just realised it should really be posted!]


It seems only fitting that my last day in India should begin with stomach pains and a running arse. It’s a condition that was so common for such a long part of my journey here, and although, gratefully, I can say it hasn’t plagued me so much in the last few months, it’s almost like the last little farewell from a disliked friend who has been allowed to hang around too long. It seems fitting.

So the early hours of our last morning have been spent in considerable discomfort, sequestered in the loo with Tony Perrottet’s Pagan Holiday reminding me of all the long lost passions I have with the ancient world, and lying in bed with Gagan reading out loud Bill Bryson’s jaw dropping inspiring A Short History of Almost Everything. As I try to ignore the combination of unhappy enzymes and gases wreaking havoc in my lower intestines, he throws morsel after tasty morsel (oh perhaps I shouldn’t talk of food) of fascinating information about physics, astronomy, geology and all things scientific, and my little brain happily boggles away. If you have to be feeling pukey, this is probably the ideal way to do it! There is something very reassuring about rediscovering your utter insignificance in the universe, and also the sheer amazing coincidence that you are here at all. As we go about our day to day lives (and right now there has been very little ‘day to day’ about our particular lives at all) it’s nice to know the problems aren’t really that important, and our movements are simply part of the giant machine of the universe going through its motions. The infinite hugeness and infinite tininess that exists around us is very comforting. All those self important idiots that have made my life hell don’t matter at all! What a pleasant thought.

It’s not quite imaginable yet that today can really be the ‘it’ day. Certainly it’s going to take quite some time for that to sink in. I need to have a fair amount of distance, both space and time, to get India out of my clogged and polluted system. Not to mention rewashing all those clothes that have soaked up the horrible moldy smell in the cupboards just from being in Bombay for months after the monsoon. We all need a good long soak I think. A ritual cleansing.

Meanwhile, there are noises of the hallway being washed, distance voices talking in that cranky way that so many Indians have. Probably simply discussing breakfast or if they’ve put out the garbage, but the tone and delivery would be enough to cause any american business meeting to rapidly dissolve into a decidedly ugly shouting match with much finger pointing and vein bulging. No time spent on the niceties here.
Gagan is still asleep. My nausea is increasing. Perhaps it’s time for another trip to the loo with Tony’s book in tow. It’s alright.. I’m simply shuffling a few zillion atoms around. ;)

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