The car stops along the curb at Newark and the very nice Indian uncle driver says, "That will be $70." I nod and pull cash from my wallet. He takes the two suitcases out from the trunk, I slide my backpack on and wheel my bags into the airport.
Newark Airport is much nicer than I imagined. Growing up when we went to India, Mom and Dad took us through JFK. It was us and 400 other Indians flying Air India and toting more than the allotted amount of carry-ons. Newark baggage and security is quick and with three hours before my flight I wander around duty-free looking at perfumes and chocolates, wondering who I may have forgotten and should I pick up a few small things for gifts.
I feel my phone buzzing in my pocket and I pull it out to see Kehar Singh (Post 4) calling. There is something about him that makes me feel light and happy. “Yes?” I say into the phone. “What are you doing?” “I’m at the airport in duty free, do you want me to pick up your booze?” I ask. “Sure, one tequila and one vodka,” he says. I tuck the phone behind my ear and walk over to the alcohol section. “When you’re in Delhi are you going to fix my family’s house?” he asks. This again?
Way back in the day, like the early 60s, Kehar Singh’s parents’ hired Dad and my uncle (Dad’s older, but not the oldest brother) to design their house. I guess there are some issues with the alignment of some window that Kehar Singh likes to mention every chance he gets, mostly to be funny, so today I reply with, “Well Dad is in India now, do you want me to take your complaint to him?” “No, I think I’ll kidnap you and make him pay ransom so we can recover our monies.” I snort, “Fat chance in getting that money. I am sure Dad would PAY you to take me off his hands!” He bursts out laughing.
We hang up, I pay and then wander around the airport food court and decide on a slice of cheese pizza. I have gotten accustomed to $2 slices on every corner of New York that I wonder if I can get through the next two weeks without a slice. While I’m eating, I get a little annoyed that Dr. Froggy has not even TEXTED me a good-bye. I understand that he’s busy saving lives, but how long would it take to write one text? Armed with angst and disappointment I pull out my phone.
Text to Town and Country: I’m going to India today. (There is some part of me that is clearly broken and demented, because I kinda hope he wonders if I am going there to get married).
Text to Desi Girl: When do you come back?
Text to Town and Country: Two weeks.
Text to Desi Girl: Safe travels.
It’s a damn good thing I’m going to India to fix my stars; I have to stop this very bad Town and Country engagement once and for all.