On Saturday, I got the chance to see the room I’m renting. This was my first time seeing it, and before they had to chance to repaint it. I will have pictures tomorrow, but let me just say… It’s perfect! I was supposed to move in today, but plans changed and I will be moving in tomorrow! 🙂
After DN left, my family got in touch with a former employee and an old friend (from the same city) to be my escort. I don’t mind wandering around alone, but it’s nice to have someone around if I need them. I jokingly call him my bodyguard, when we are together. 😀 So when you see me refer to him as my bodyguard, don’t feel weird. I just have a sense of humor. 😀
So, anyway. After looking at the room, my bodyguard’s best friend invited me to his house, to meet his grandfather.
When we arrived, there was a little girl holding a baby, sitting on the front steps. I asked my bodyguard’s best friend who they were, and found that they were his nieces. Aww. 🙂
When I entered the house, an old man was sitting in the corner of the room. My bodyguard’s best friend explained who I was, and the old man smiled the most innocent smile, saying “Achha…” (A confirmation, probably meaning here: “I see…”) He patted the chair beside him, inviting me to sit down. We had a really great conversation. I told him a little about America, and he told me a little about India. He told me about other Hindu devotees that would come stay days or months at a time with him. He invited me to come to dinner every night, and apparently invited me to stay there a month. I smiled and thanked him, with a laugh. At this time, my bodyguard explained that the old man was like a Sadhu (I am assuming he is not actually a Sadhu?) as he lived simply and was completely devoted to Hinduism.
It was sometimes difficult to understand his English, and he would take long pauses in between words, as he tried to remember how to say what he wanted to say. My bodyguard’s best friend offered to be a translator, but he was determined to communicate to me himself. He had such kind eyes, and a soft voice. He radiated respect and kindness. They called the old man “Babu ji”. In this case, meaning “Grandfather”. (Thanks for the translation, Navi!)
He laughed a little at my basic understanding of Hindi. I blushed, a bit embarrassed. We were served coffee and biscuits (cookies – let’s be honest – those are cookies), as well as some other kind of snack. Slowly people started gathering in the room. An older woman in a light yellow saree stood at the end of the room, the two little girls were standing near the older woman, and another woman in a dark pink saree was peeking out from behind a curtain. When I failed to understand what the old man was trying to say to me, my bodyguard said something in Hindi and everyone in the room laughed. I looked around, totally lost, and sipped my coffee. Yep. This happens a lot. I leaned over to my bodyguard and whispered, “What did I miss?” He laughed and said he would tell me the joke later. (I never found out.) 😀 As everyone was laughing, I could see my bodyguard’s best friend’s bhabhi hiding in the shadows, laughing too. She had a pretty smile. The fact that she was so elusive made me want to talk to her, I didn’t get the chance to though.
After some time, he spoke to the oldest of the little girls, and asked her to bring him a bag. When she returned with the bag, the old man began sifting though the contents. He pulled out an orange scarf and held it up to me. “Ram” he said, pointing to the image. He began explaining a bit about Hinduism and Lord Ram. When he finished his explanation, he draped the scarf over my shoulders, smiling, then held up his hand. I looked to my bodyguard’s best friend. “He is giving that to you. He is also blessing you.” I smiled, “Oh wow.” 😀 (You can definitely tell I’m the new kid. I get so excited about these things.)
He then proceeded to give me a long cloth, that was like a saree, but not. I’m still not sure what its purpose is… (I’ll keep you updated.) I thanked him and he gently touched my head, laughing – Another blessing.
He showed me another cloth. I didn’t know what to say, so I said, “Yes, it’s lovely.” He smiled, “You want?” I laughed and shook my head. “No, thank you.” My bodyguard’s best friend said something in Hindi and then invited me upstairs to sit in his room.
The three of us sat there for a few moments, just relaxing, when the best friend’s eldest niece came in. The little girl, 11 years old, could speak English really well. (I later tested her skills by asking her a series of questions and asking her to describe things to me. She did so well! There was not a thing she couldn’t say!) When she entered the room, she was carrying a small puppy. 😀 We played with the puppy for awhile, before I got the invitation to stay for dinner. I agreed. I do love experiencing home cooked food. Especially Indian food! But once again (this always happens to me) it became a situation where I was the only one eating, and everyone else was kind of… watching me. That’s always uncomfortable. Haha 😀
It was a good day, all in all, and a pleasure meeting my bodyguard’s best friend and his kind family. I can’t wait to visit again! ♥