After another peaceful IndiGo flight (on which I met a really kind Nepali girl that studies in Delhi) I made my way through immigration and customs, and wandered out of the sixth entry gate. Men, women, and children waited eagerly for friends and family. I squeezed by two young boys that had no interest in making way for me, and called my husband.
“I’m in the metro, I’m almost there.” He said.
“Alright, well I’m coming to you.” I replied.
“No! No, no, no. Wait there, I want to come to you.” He pleaded.
I sighed. “All right. Jaldi!”
When he arrived, we both smiled ear to ear. Staring faces, nearby, dropped in disbelief as we walked away together.
“I love it when you say jaldi.” He giggled.
The metro ride seemed short and quiet.
After leaving Nepal, I was full of energy. My independence sparked a carefree attitude within me that I seemed to have forgotten long ago. Despite who was staring and listening, I enthusiastically told my husband about all of my adventures, animating them with my hands. What I had seen, what I could smell, and the taste of the food. The adventures, the fear of getting lost, the wrong turn that turned out to be the right turn…
By the time we returned home, he had already seen the pictures and heard the stories, but my mind was restless. I couldn’t silence my newly reclaimed independence. I discussed with my husband that I needed to go out more, rather than being stuck inside all of the time. He agreed that he’d like for me to be independent, but expressed his concern for my safety. After an hour of negotiation, we decided I would start with bringing milk and vegetables alone. Afterwards, I could take the metro train and meet with friends, other foreign wives, here in Delhi.
To my surprise, I was invited out by two other ladies, a few days later. Curiously, my husband insisted on joining. Luckily, another husband was there to keep him company. We had coffee and talked about our joys and struggles.
On the way out, my husband said, “That was really great. I felt like I’ve known them for a long time.”
I smiled and squealed, “Me too!”
“You can definitely meet them alone.” He said, confidently.
I knew that hearing their stories of independence inspired him and gave him confidence. Their stories of what struggles they face in Indian culture gave him a greater understanding of me.
Thanks to my trip to Nepal and meeting these ladies, an era of independence is in the making!
Despite being back in India, Nepal (and the ongoing crisis) is still on my mind. I stumbled on an article from UNICEF today, that states the following:
Children still recovering from two major earthquakes in April and May could be the worst hit. More than 200,000 families affected by the tremors are still living in temporary shelters, at an altitude above 1,500 metres where weather conditions will be harshest this winter.
Please read the full article by UNICEF for more information.