It's our last day here in India. Everyone is moping around. We kept getting visits from Mani, Mahalakshmi, and Sahji in our apartment, and Mr. Jacob (landlord) engaged Dawn in a long conversation about fruit that grows on the trunk of a tree here, and the fish in his fishpond that eat mosquito larvae. It's the longest conversation I've ever had with him.
Mahlakshmi and our new maid, Davey, said goodbye and lingered for an extra 20 minutes pinching the girls' cheeks and Mahalakshmi kept dapping her eyes with the edge of her saree. Mani has given me his address twice and wants us to email photos of our family to him. Sahji has asked me twice for our home address and says he's accompanying us to the airport to help us with our bags (even though he has one arm in a sling--from a mishap on Saturday morning when he fell off a ladder while cleaning a ceiling fan).
We presented our world map to Chandra Shake-uh, our beloved asst. cook, who used to stand and exclaim over various countries while we would eat our meals. He seemed embarrassed and surprised and rather ecstatic to receive the map. He has been in a mopey mood since Saturday, saying that we shouldn't return to America and saying that he was coming to America with us. Today he was snapping at Sahji and then he left as soon as supper was ready. We expected him to come back to say goodbye, but Sahji says that Chandra-Shake-uh has gone home. Lily started to cry, and the other two girls were astonished that Chandra-Shake-uh wouldn't say goodbye, but from the way he was acting, I think he just found it too hard to bid us farewell.
I think we'll be sending several postcards to India as soon as we get home.
So, we're both looking forward to coming home, and already missing India. Pray that we will survive this very, very long airplane ride (stopping for a day in Paris), and that our dear Indian friends will stop being so sad, and will find comfort in knowing that we are just as sad to leave them.
We'll be home soon! Must dash and finish packing.