Leaving India

Last morning in India – A. Ranson

 

All it took for us to leave India

Was three days of packing up our house

Four different applications for travel passes

And a day’s worth of rushed goodbyes.

 

We spent nine hours on that bus.

Then five hours sheltering in an airport hotel.

Another five hours standing in line at the airport.

Before finally leaving on our ten-hour flight to Paris.

 

Nine hours in the CdG ghost-town terminal on a layover.

And eight hours on the transatlantic flight to JFK.

Twenty minutes to get our bags

And three minutes on an empty train

To pick up a rental car

For the two hour drive, and,

Inexplicably, not a lick of rush hour traffic.

 

All along this rushed departure,

Which also took forever,

Was gripping fear that we’d be turned away at the

Karnataka border, or the anticipation of

humiliating stupidity that we’d

exposed ourselves unnecessarily.

 

In Seat 14G,  I found Relief, followed by a heavy Fatigue.

Packed down deep was stammering sadness

Wrapped in unmet expectations

About how I wanted to graciously leave

the place where I came into the

Life I’d always wanted.

 

The long road to Bangalore from Chennai

passes through the

Relentlessness of India;

All that is great and distressing on display.

A strange farewell.

Fitting or not. Here it is.

And maybe always will be.

 

India’s familiar heat pushed up

On all the windows, reminding me

How lucky I am, for even in our uncertain departure

I don’t have to worry if my baby

Will make it through this heat.

As ever, there is a buffer for people like us.

 

This long bus ride gives plenty of space for

A mind to go to all that could go wrong.

When the distress fills me,

I peer underneath her covered car seat to

Glimpse her perfect sleeping face or

Toothless grin when her eyes catch mine.

 

I didn’t imagine when I arrived in this great place

Seven years ago

That the strangers along side me

Also spilling with curiosity

Would become my wife, my dear friends,

companions who would flee their homes together

Clutching each other for security.

 

It’s fitting that our beleaguered leaving happened with

Each other. The love that binds us

Grew amidst Incredible India.

Where everything is true.

7 responses to “Leaving India”

  1. Nicola Ranson says :

    That is the most beautiful thing I have read in a long time. Tearing up at the truth and poetry of love for family and place.

  2. Ron Ranson says :

    Wow – you defined your experience so well. Thank you.

  3. Paul Thompson says :

    Wow, really enjoyed reading this. Beautifully done. I hope all is well. – Paul

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Martha Ranson says :

    Makes me weep, Andrew. You’ve caught the angst turmoil,fear, tediousness and elation of it all. Amazing chapter of your lives. Thank you for writing about it and sharing . Xx from your Ma🥰

  5. Priya Venugopal says :

    You will forever have a home in Chennai, India. Loved reading your emotions. Stay blessed my friend.

  6. Rachel says :

    LOVE this!! Your words are perfect and truly capture what India is – somewhere we all love 🙂

  7. Judy Ranson says :

    An amazing adventure in the past and for your future. Love it

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