The saving grace for this 16-hour non-stop flight from Newark to New Delhi is that I have an aisle seat. However, I am not sure if that will make up for being seated next to a sardarni and her baby. I cannot tell if the child (who is VERY cute and slightly precocious) is a boy or a girl as Sikhs immediately start growing out their kid’s hair.
For the first hour Sardarni doesn’t really chat with me, which is fine. I want sleep the entire way to India so I can sync my body clock with another time zone. I do have to say, I find adjusting to India easier than Europe. I think the 12 hour difference between the States and India is less stress on me physically than the 6 hour difference with Europe.
This being an international flight, the snack service begins as soon as we reach a sensible flying speed and altitude. I order wine and sip it slowly. I will again order wine with dinner and then pop some Benadryl and knock myself out.
Before dinner service begins my neighbor speaks, “Are you traveling alone?” “Yes,” I reply. “You stay in New York?” she asks. “Yes, I’m in the City,” I reply. “We’re in New Jersey,” she shares. “Your child is very cute,” I say. She smiles and shakes her head, “and very naughty.” “What about you? Do you have kids?” she asks. “Nope, I’m not married,” I reply. Immediately she gives me the same sad look the sari-clad aunties gave me at my brother’s wedding, a weak smile followed by the head tilt. It’s like I told her I had AIDS. Or bubonic fever. Geez lady, you can’t catch singletonitis like you do the cold.
This is why I detest Indians and their judgmental ways, and it is in these moments when I am reminded that despite how expensive and hard New York can be, I am so glad I moved here and got away from the desi mentality of the aunties. Which then begs the question, why I am subjecting myself to India if I can’t deal with Indian mentality? Aiy!