I’m sipping my morning tea and sitting on Massi’s bed with the phone tucked under my chin. “Come to Dwarka by 7 pm,” Dad says. “Then we can leave for the airport together.” Dad and I are both returning to the US tonight. Our flights, his to Minnesota and mine to New York, are within an hour of each other. “I don’t know how to get to Dwarka,” I say. “Simple. Tell the driver to head towards to the Domestic Airline Terminal, just before the airport, there is a roundabout, take that and exit for the Dwarka Flyover..."
Oh. My. God. I have an international flight that I have to be on. Not because I have a ticket and re-ticketing in India is a total nightmare. But because I have to get the hell out of this country. Yes, I love Massi. I already miss her and I’m not gone yet. I love my roots and being a part of this quirky family (both sides). But my home is not here. Just like I didn’t belong in Minnesota, I don’t belong in India. And if I get stuck here I will lose my shit.
"Dad, this is not a good idea. There is construction all over Delhi, and in the dark I am not directing a driver who barely speaks English to Dwarka! They don’t believe in using street lights or signage in this country and if we get lost….I need to go home…Today….” I counter, my voice shakes a little. Luck has eluded me lately and I just can’t risk roaming around Delhi four hours before my flight because Dad is having a high maintenance moment. I am not selfless like Mom. I am not catering to every idea and whim he has.
Massi stands by my side and listens. We have only a few hours left and she doesn’t want me to leave until I absolutely must. “Where will we meet? The airport is very big,” Dad says, he sounds a little stressed that I don’t find his idea agreeable. And I don’t understand what is going on with him.
For the last two weeks I have been running around a super sized desi City. I live in a gigantic American city. He is flying KLM and I am going Continental --- I think between the help of their ground staff and public announcement system we’ll be fine. “Dad, I will find you,” I insist. “I want to sit in the lounge before we go,” Dad explains. “Dad! Don’t worry, we will meet, go through customs and sit in the lounge. See you tonight. Love you!” I say and hang up.
Massi shakes her head. You would think I am the parent, not Dad. I take her hand and lead her back to the dining room and so we can have our last breakfast together.