There was no after-the-rain smell when I was in Varanasi, not even along the river Ganges where waters are wide in January; the white fog curtain erases the farthest bank so that just sky, boats, and water make up the shore. In the city’s brown streets, trash runs steadily through silt-carved gullies. Waste sandcastles build in its empty lots.
A year ago, a girl my age was raped in New Delhi. Several days later she died of her injuries in a hospital in Singapore. Her intestines were so badly mangled she would have required a transplant to live. If she had lived, she would never have eaten without the aid of a tube.
from Around the World in Eighty Days: The India Section
It was important to have a conversation with
Pandit Nehru in Allahabad
After the visitors left the fine house
We sat down for tea
Overlooking the confluence of the sacred rivers
I marveled at the variety of trees
Dispatches will be taking a two-week holiday break and will resume publishing on Wednesday, January 11th. Until then, please enjoy this seasonal dispatch about a Christmas vacation gone wrong…
I always say that I fell in love with my husband at Kinko’s. Charged with printing blown up photographs for the annual fundraiser for the afterschool program where we both worked, I arrived to pick them up only to find the pictures grainy and only half of the job completed. While I panicked that I’d be fired and was ready to scream at the woman at the counter, Terence calmly, but firmly explained what needed to be done and the urgency with which it had to be completed. We’d been dating for less than two months, but in that moment I thought, this is the person I need by my side. Three years later, we were engaged. For our Christmas affianced, we booked a trip overseas, eager to show our independence, and maybe even create a new tradition apart from our families. On December 22, 2009, we arrived to New Delhi, India. Our plan was to spend a few days there, and then on Christmas Eve we would take a train to Agra so that we could see the Taj Mahal on Christmas Day. From there, we’d travel through Rajasthan and eventually fly to Mumbai.