Monday, June 22, 2009

Not so fast little lady, We're not through with you!

I'm still here! Shocked and spellbound I am at never making it past the Chennai airport Saturday night. I was fully prepared to leave- equipped with packed bags, I said goodbyes to those I care about. It was time...
As it turns out, the immigration officials at the airport felt differently. Or at least they are the most tangible creatures with whom to rest my blame. As I neared the plane, I was stopped and told there were complications. I never officially "registered" in India. Confused and in a daze, the next few moments passed by like weighty, overwhelming burdens. I panicked when one official tore up my boarding pass in front of my eyes...despite my insistence to the contrary, he was determined to exercise his power and authority at any cost. When I politely demanded an explanation he said, "No registration Madam, you won't be traveling anywhere tonight."
It felt like some kind of sick joke. Maybe like wildfire, the word had spread around town that I was the girl whose body and heart had been battered by Mother India and in her final mad dash to escape, she would be forbidden.
I now feel more tired and confused than ever before. It's as if I've committed a crime and am now being held against my will. Though, rather than India banish my sinful ways from her sacred land, she chooses to remain inextricably linked to me. A bizarre and twisted infatuation between the victim and her captor.
Some of my more superstitious friends have declared that all this mess is a sign- I'm not meant to part with this place...there are still facets of Indian life that are meant for me to discover. The cynic in me wants to ignore these ideas...I catch my inner pessimist stating that the only sign in all of this is that India is a land ridden with unnecessary, bureaucratic hassles- in place only to make my life hell.
I would be lying, though, if I said that I harnessed my inner cynic in its entirety. Truthfully, a part of me indulges in the contrary... in the romantic interpretations of what this all could mean.
I've always appreciated the frankness in this quote: "Experience is the harshest of teachers. It gives the test first, and the lesson afterward." I feel as though my stay in India has involved numerous tests, one right after the other. Multiple choice tests of physical strength and mental clarity. True/false tests that reinvent my perceptions of reality and rumble my core. And with this, I'm trying to acknowledge the value of such tests, and appreciate that ultimately, these experiences could just teach me something about myself and the world.
But as I sit here now, I'm feeling overwhelmed by impatience and confusion. It's been long enough, and I don't know how much longer I can wait to discover the ultimate lesson...


kiran_bc said...

Travel teaches you to be tolerant! isn't it?


Alex said...

Is this not a serious issue? Or is this something common? I feel like if I was in that situation, I would be FLIPPING OUT!!!