The next morning the jetlag settles in around like a fuzzy haze. The sun is up in Delhi, but my body cannot figure out what time it in. My watch is still set to New York time and I cannot remember if I should set the watch forward or back 90 minutes to sync up with India.
I open my suitcase and dig around for something to wear. After breakfast Dad wants to stop by the Delhi office in Dwarka, so I pull on my black sheath Banana Republic dress. As I put on my make-up something about my bag seems not quite right, but I cannot place my finger on the issue. I blame the jetlag and brush my hair into a sleek ponytail, catching a glance of myself. I love this dress; it makes me look 10 pounds skinnier in an instance.
I open the bedroom door and join Chacha, Chachi and Dad for breakfast. After living the single life for so long I am not used to eating meals at the dining table or with people. I have some tea, toast and fruit. When I am finished eating my aunt makes more toast. “Take it,” she says. At first I don’t realize that she is talking to me, and then she takes the toast, slathered in butter, from the serving plate and places it onto mine. “No, no,” I protest. “I am full.” “How is that possible? You ate nothing, must be why you are so skinny.” Well this is a first. Dad’s family is not into offering compliments. And I spent most of my younger life, chubby, so Dad’s family generally calls me fat, to my face. This is the thing about my relatives, they are brutally honest about obvious things.
After breakfast Chacha drives Dad and I to the Dwarka office. It’s a three story building along a deserted street, with one building across the street from it. Inside the building it is a buzzing center of youngsters, Indian millennials, who are drafting and designing. They are clad in jeans and polo shirts, drinking tea and monitoring their beeping I-Phones. I’m not that much older than them, but COMPLETELY out of place in my Manhattan black, three-in heels and sad Samsung flip phone. Dad and I spend a few hours there before finally, finally, finally, getting back into the car and heading to Massi’s place in South Delhi, the posh part of Delhi.
It takes over an hour, but finally the road signs look familiar, the main road comes into view, we pass St. George's school and then arrive before Massi's apartment complex. The driver parks the car and unloads my bags. We come around to the elevator banks; slowly we rise to the 6th floor. The elevator stops, I have been coming here so long, that instinctively I turn to the left, ring the bell and door opens. I feel my heart race a few beats. Warm, damp eyes like mine great me. “Massi!” I yelp and lunge forward to hug my aunt. With her soft arms around me and sweet breath against my cheek, she really is a second mother to me. From her touch, I know she misses me as much as I miss her, and she feels like coming home. Finally, finally, finally my journey is over and I am officially in Delhi.