tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Farewell India

So long, India. It's been real. (Sometimes a little too real, like that time you sent your monkey scout into our bedroom.)

We enjoyed your food. Sure, it's oilier than a walrus reunion. And yes, once in a while we took your food and turned it into our food or at least into Middle Eastern food, which was a half-step toward home. But nobody complained about the Tiffins. And I love what you do with eggs.
 

And you were a great teacher. I arrived knowing lakhs and crores of nothing. You tried to teach me cricket. Didn't take, but nice try. You imbued me with the zen of a world without toilet paper, and now I'm your ardent disciple. You coaxed me through the motions of the wiggle-wobble-bobble-waggle, and although I thought you were a pain in the neck, you didn't give up on me.

Sure, there were some scary moments: First ride in an auto-rickshaw; first encounter with Colossus the Ox; my near-overdose on pork in Ghorkaland.

But mostly we laughed. Okay I laughed, but I'm sure you got the joke. Like all those times you told me how much you regretted that my train was late. C'mon, did you really regret that? Or that time you tried to convince me it was cold enough to wear a tuque. Nice try, but you don't know jackfruit about winter.

But speaking sincerely now, there are a few things I will miss about you, such as:

#5: Roommates who make it their livelihood to eat flying insects, including but not limited to this frog. Hats off to you, sir. You are to aerial bugs what I am to terrestrial bowls of potato curry.

#4: How remarkably easy it is to get my picture in the paper. (Especially easy if I sit in front of a banner.)

#3: Helpful signs regarding where to pee (and the adorable Oriya script)

#2: The feral taste of local milk. Don't know how I'll go back to drinking that ice-cold, sanitized, homogenized, flavourless stuff back home. (Oh look, they're milking the buffalo; it must be tea time.)

#1: Hearing my coworkers pronounce ‘Google’ as ‘Googley.’ I’ve heard it two thousand times and it still makes me giggle. 

And that's what I'll miss most about you India: You quickly became a familiar place, gentle and warm, friendly and tasty. And you were always, always, just a little bit Googley.

2 comments:

Sheila said...

Lovely last post!
What are your plans now? Good luck whatever they are.

Hayagriba Shadangi said...

Hi richard I am Litu (PREM)we are missing you. Now im in CBCD project working with sudhir