I was supposed to close out Chandigarh. I was supposed to write something inspiring, uniting, encompassing -- something that could pay homage to all that India has given me. It would be about the kids and those last moments that I spent with them in the library. The last song they sang to me, the threads they tied on my wrist, and the gifts and foods that they packed and sent off in my backpack. That was a month ago.
Then I was supposed to tell you about the transition. The first moment I stepped out into American sunlight. The uncontrollable tears at the airport when I realized I was back here, and I didn't want to be. The bigness of everything -- of the cars and the roads and of New York. The strange feeling of being in school again. I meant to sit down and pound out a few words about the small talk and the formality and the beauty and the makes-sense of it all. That was a couple of weeks ago.
But I can't write any of that. Because my feet are still formed to rubber sandals and dusty roads, and my voice and mind still oscillate between Hindi and English. I see my new classmates and potential friends and old friends, but I don't always feel like I am here. Nor that I'm meant to be there. It's a limbo of sorts.
So I'm giving myself space and time for what may be the first time. I take long walks near the river and sit on swings and do things that have nothing to do with working hard or giving or making the world or myself better. I'm eating Sour Patch Kids and spending nights at home, knowing that New York waits. The adventures will come, and I will welcome them. But for now, I'm just going to let go.