“Taking off your shoes means the gods are smiling on you, “ said Prakesh.
I had trouble with that. Not the god part, the shoes.
It’s customary to remove your shoes when entering a home or shop in Maharashtra. It’s customary to do the equivalent when entering someone’s abode in Canada, so the fact that I struggled to part with my flip-flops was illogical.
Spock would have a field day with me. What was I afraid of?
Western comfort, which I assumed was a flimsy concept roared in my head. You’re afraid of lice, pieces of glass, fleas from the dog, disease!
Despite the queasy stirrings of my belly, I slipped them off to step inside Child Haven’s office where Kavita waited.
I attempted to blame my irrational repulsion on jet lag. Having escaped it during my Copenhagen and London jaunts, I napped most of the way from Mumbai airport to the location of my home for the next 3 months. Prakesh interrupted me mid-snort to announce our arrival.
‘Where’ is a parcel of land off the highway.
Our arrival felt rushed and surreal, how I imagine a gaudy, Vegas wedding might play out. Two inebriated people in club wear loudly demanding to be reunited in matrimony when they only met 5 hours ago. The chubby, sequined Elvis and pre-recorded chapel music oblige them.
The Child Haven office certainly wasn’t a chapel. Kavita and Prakesh were far from inebriated, but manageress and assistant manager of the home, married a lot longer than 5 hours – 7 years to be exact.