Hail to thee blyth spirits!! Join me in a journey about the land which has enchanted me for as long as I remember. I think I had mentioned how I subscribed as a little girl, to a program which sent me a little soft cover book each month on a country or group of countries (like England/Scotland/Ireland and Wales). These little books were sent with a page or pages of stamps about 2×2". We were to find the chapter or page which related to the stamps and paste the stamp onto that page. Similar to the sticker books kids have today. Anyway, one of the books was on India and I was complete enthralled with the colors of the sari's and outfits worn by the Maharajah's and Maharani's, as well as the ordinary people. I loved the landscapes, temples, scenery and animals in the stories and pictures. The jewelry too, oh my! what wonderful images. I loved the elephants and camels and monkeys and big cats of every type. I loved the crafts and cottage industries shown. I went again and again to the little book. I used to have a little black rubber baby doll I had begged my folks for one Christmas. I loved that little doll more than any other because I could use him in my adventures. I would pretend he was a Maharajah and I would create clothes for him from my collection of neckerchiefs, and drape necklaces and bracelets around his head. We would go off on elephants to hunt Tigers in the jungles, etc.
Later, when I went to Camp Alders gate, summer camp, we had a Christian minister who was from India. He had dark skin and was handsome and he told us stories about India and the development of Christianity there. I was more interested in him and the stories about India than I was about Christianity but I was spellbound each night at the campfire and he regaled us with tales of India. My next exposure to the culture that I remember was the book "Caravans", by James Michener. I adored the book when I first read it in High school, and subsequently read it several times more. I always knew I would someday visit India and explore it for myself. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would marry man from India.
Things came to pass when I had been NYC just over a year that I met and fell in love with my husband Srinivasan. This is a story which I will tell at another time, but suffice it to say that through him all my dreams were fulfilled,
I remember the first time Srini met my dad after we were secretly married in NYC(I had told just my mom and dad). We flew upstate for Christmas and Dad was hospitalized at that time with heart problems. Mom, Srini and I went to the hospital and daddy was very gracious when he met Srini and seemed pleased with my choice. He did laughingly say "I always suspected when you were a little girl and always carrying around that little black baby doll, that someday you might have a little black baby of your own". This prophesy did not come to pass because I never had children of my own. We did however, always support little dark babies in India and Africa through Christian Children's Fund and now a sponsorship project run by Bibles For The World, Inc.
The following year I first saw India and I knew my heart had come home. I can't put the feeling into words but while I prefer to call the US my home now; India will always be the home of my heart.
Go figure, I must have been reincarnated or something, but who cares. There are some things and feelings I will never understand but I am so happy I have these experiences and adventures in my life.