day twenty-three: goodbye to mumbai

do not waste your mornings. do not waste this last morning in india.

we don’t.

feel the sun rise and allow our bodies to rise with it. this time we know how to get to the beach. we walk briskly along the waterfront sidewalk. our distance marked out in kilometers for us on the cement. over two miles easily. so many people up early and exercising alongside us.


what feels good for today?

we take some time to practice for ourselves. to melt into the muscles that are calling out in ache. to take in the arabian sea sand beneath our feet one last time. words and symbols drawn into the sand. i sit down and close my eyes.

about four months ago, i got a tattoo on the top of my left foot. it says, “here.” sometimes we all need a reminder to be where we are.


tomorrow i will be back in los angeles attempting to pick up the debris leftover from three months of globetrotting, but today, i am here.


in god’s own country. where you are tested daily. where light switches are overabundant and smiles come free. where everyone still takes time to read the newspaper even though they have equally, if not more, electronic boxes of endless information in their pockets.

i am grateful i get to be here.

we hop a cab back to the hotel and i just take it all in.


over breakfast, we think about our top three memories of india. we get lost in conversation about america’s culture. does it have one of its own? or just a collection of other cultures? we debate the need for less options. explore the ways that endless choice leads us millennials to feel lost or overwhelmed. we discuss our passions. when we knew that they were our passions. i come to the verge of tears twice.

writing and my mom’s incredible strength.

i like that talking about things can bring me to the verge of such intense emotions. i like that i am not afraid to reach those moments over breakfast at 8am in india with jasprit, teresa, and sybille.

for the first time ever on this trip, jasprit takes out pen and paper and we make a schedule. for what you ask? back rubs! one final massage from the master. his generosity is welcomed but not unnoticed. love is reflected in love.

we all set times to meet for lunch and dinner, but the hours in between are ours to embrace. only a few remain before we board our 2am flight to paris and then to los angeles.

teresa and i head out to find a paper store. with iphone map in hand, we guide ourselves through the city talking about everything and anything. mother daughter bonding style. it is sunday and most things are closed, but we do find one store with cute journals and cards and gifts. i see happy things in sidewalk stands.


i buy a few things including the sara must-have classic: a shot glass for my collection of shot glasses from everywhere and anywhere. the collection that sits boxed up in a storage unit in chicago.

why do we fuel our collections?

i have lived for three months out of a couple bags while all my stuff sits in a basement and collects who knows what. i always want to purge, but i can’t bring myself to give up my dad’s old elvis records or the love letters from my sixth grade boyfriend. furniture can go, but the books i wrote in elementary school about ocelots and dance competition miracles cannot.

we don’t need a lot to survive. we don’t need a lot to be happy. we don’t need a lot to find meaning.

we all meet back up for lunch and dinner. by now, we all know our favorite dishes and want to make sure we get them in one last time before heading home. for me, this must include an evening stroll to the india gate plaza to find another corn cob cooked over an open flame and covered in lemon and spices. after some scheming and smiling, i managed to get some of the corn masala to take home with me. yum.

and even on my last day i am still finding more favorites. cardamom milk. wow. i am all about this whole adding spices to milk thing.


pack it up. head to the international airport. it is chaos. pure chaos. but only outside. you have to wait in line to even step foot into the airport.


i am pretty sure our passports and tickets were checked six different times. but, once we were inside, all was well. through all the documentation stops and onto our twelve hour 2am flight to paris.

i did not sleep at all, but i watched a couple movies that kept me entertained.

the trip is over. my leftover rupees are useless. until i return.

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