Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Waving goodbye to Bangers

As we wave goodbye to Bangalore and this chapter of our lives, I really don't know what to say. I am so so sad to be leaving incredible India but deep down am happy to be going back to Cali. For now, I am concentrating on the big farewell not the reunions and reconnections.

We have seen so much, done so much, had so many adventures, learnt so much. I can't even think what the highlights were and it's too soon to really assess the lessons learnt. I will so very definitely be bringing some part of India back with me. I have been immersed and entrenched and somewhere deep inside us, this wild crazy place is now part of us. 

It's been like living surrounded by amplifiers - everything is louder, brighter, smellier. Even the emotions.......I've been more frustrated, more irritated, more humbled, more amazed, more overwhelmed, more in awe, more everything. I've laughed more, cried more....whatever you think about living in India - you feel so alive, sometimes frighteningly so!!!!

We have seen the generosity of the very poor, we have seen beauty, dignity and grace come out of poverty and suffering. We have met so many unsung heroes - those that do so much to try and counter the lives of the have-nots. 

The little adventures, life here is sort of a series of them. Only this morning my maid arrived with a car and a friend to take all the stuff we aren't bringing back to US and letting her have to sell or keep, to take back to her house before work. She asked if I wanted to go and see her house. Of course!! I jumped into the back of the vehicle with all the boxes - she and her friend in the front - don't know what security thought!! We drove into some back roads behind Whitefield Main Road and then turned onto a little unpaved track - little box shaped houses -  cars on either side, wing mirrors turned in. This was why I imagine, she didn't think I was up to driving to her home. Then over some flagstones covering a deep ditch and onto an empty space of waste land covered in trees and shrubs but no trash, at the back of which stood her tiny little house. Outside were lovingly tended plants and trees, together with cages of chirping fancy colored birds. A little oasis. The house - yes, ramshackle and tiny, filled with furniture and bits and pieces of which she was incredibly proud. Four rooms one behind the other - a bit of a jumble but her home, her little bit of tranquility. I was touched to have been invited and to have a fuller picture of her life, and to see how, despite all her troubles, she has carved out this little piece of home. A little spontaneous adventure and not even 8.00am.  

The traveling, the trips have all been wonderful.........but there are still lots we haven't done. My "to do" list just gets longer. I am sure that when we are back in Cali we will have the need to travel and see more. We have seen so little of the US. 

There have been so many marks of passage as the boys have grown from a preteen and a little kid, to a taller than me teen and a confident boy. I look at the pic of us leaving San Jose 3 years ago, alongside that of us about to leave India. How they have grown. I just pray they really remember their time here - that the life lessons they have learnt will stay with them - a sense of social justice, a country where we go to church, we wake up to the sound of the mosques call to prayer, and we join in our Hindu friends' festivals. Ads has lived as a minority, Wills where his skin color is the norm. They have seen how huge the accident of birth is, how some of these slum kids are bright, enthusiastic, kind, friendly and generous but will never have the same chance at a future they themselves may have. 

Somehow I have to work out how to go back geographically and logistically while still moving forward. What to do with the new discovered interests, the photography, the writing, the fundraising, got to find a way to make them fit.

And I don't even want to think about leaving the friends we have all made. As I have said in this blog many times, you make friends fast and furious in expat land and we have. Some have left before us, some will leave shortly after and some will stay for the long haul. Hopefully we will all meet again, sometime, somewhere..........

This blog - who knows......is it done? am I done?

Our exit has come round too quickly, things fallen into place too easily (so far) that it's hard not to believe that for us, the time is right.................


  1. - Soon - Welcome home, Towers family! And happy holidays - Mindy.

  2. Damn - was enjoying the blog.. Good luck

  3. Hello,
    I've never commented on any of your posts....but I had been reading your blog for the past year. Really enjoyed reading every bit of it.
    Wishing you and your family all the best!!

  4. Im glad to read you again. Thanks for this post. Best for you Buddy! Happy New Year 2014

  5. I have enjoyed reading your blog. I will miss it

  6. Have enjoyed reading your blog so much and hope that you will continue in the US. Best wishes to you and your family.