So now that everything has kind of settled and I have been able to purchase the tickets and setup everything at work, I can safely and publicly claim that we will be visiting India for a couple of weeks starting the last weekend of February.
I have not visited the “homeland” (as my co-workers so adeptly put it) for quite a few years. My last recollection of India is back from 1998. Needless to say, I am really really excited. Not only am I going to be back home, I am going back with Jennifer. She has heard of and seen pictures of India, my school, my home and my friends, but it has all been a dream to her. She has been making plans with my parents for quite some time now and I can see the glisten in her eyes when we talk about going to Calcutta. I want everyone to meet her and I want to go around and meet all my friends and family that I have only sparsely corresponded with for the past few years.
On the other hand, I am also worried that everything about India will overwhelm her. The smell, the sheer number of people, the cars, the fumes, the noise and everything else in between. I have tried to make her as aware as possible of the challenges and the differences between her life here and the environment there in India. But it still catches everyone by surprise. I am also worried about my fishtanks and dogs. Jennifer’s brother Justin is going to house sit and he is very, very good with the dogs but I still worry about them. Speaking of fish tanks, we have cichlid fries now, three of them that have survived so far. I do not know which fish actually brooded the babies, but they are alive, hiding and doing quite well in our 55 gallon cichlid tank. I do hope they survive.
Getting back to our visit. My parents are intensely excited that we are going to be able to visit. They were scheduled to come here to the US around the end of July and were starting to gett antsy but now they cannot speak of anything else. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Most of my friends are scattered around the world and very few remain at Calcutta. My friend Kaushik Rathi just got married this week at Calcutta and I wish I could have been there. That reminds me, I need to send out pre-invitations to my friends/family as soon as possible (for the wedding) so they can make plans.
If anyone would like to meetup at Calcutta, please leave me a note.