Now I can say there was that time in Dharamsala, when a people cut off from their country and their families marched for two hours in protest, demanding action, dreaming of home.
Last week I realized what exactly these last four weeks have been for me – a kind of do-it-yourself writing retreat. I didn’t need to wait for an official fellowship; all it took was me carving out the time to come to Goa and get to work.
What if – there were those two words again, the harbingers of regret. Because as much as I love my home here in Goa, I also knew that three months from now, I didn’t want to be asking myself – what if I’d gone with them to Dharamsala?
And usually it’s right then – as my face is turned to the sun and my arms and legs are moving in great big circles through the Arabian Sea – that it hits me, every day: This is my life.
“Let’s take you home,” Hannah said, and I swear to you, I could’ve cried. And after an hour of unpacking and setting out knick-knacks, I did cry, just a little, and they were all tears of big, huge, inexpressible joy.
It’s in the covered portion of the market that it hits me, what exactly I find so intoxicating about this place. Yes, the fragrance of jasmine and rose blossoms no doubt has something to do with it, but it’s this, too: These are the colors of India.
Pigeons aren’t supposed to be beautiful, I tell myself. And yet I see it everywhere I look – in the outline of their wings, in their iridescent neck feathers, in the wind brushing my face which isn’t wind at all but the result of a hundred birds moving the air at the same time.