the things i carried

I explored markets in four different countries over a period of four months.  I perused stone carvings, handwoven tapestries and shining jewelry.  Labeling me a opportunity, crafty children, affable men and convincing women hawked their wares as I wandered past.  Despite the tenacity of the sellers, nothing made it into the backpack and carry-on that returned with me on the flight from Saigon to San Francisco.

I did, however, gather a ton of immeasurable memories.  Sorting through the memories of people and places that I carried with me, many of them make me think of people in my life.  I didn’t bring back any tangible gifts as I found very few things that I felt worthy to give, but I’d like to share a few memories in honor of some important people in my life.

When I first met Kalpana, I thought of my mother.

Mahendra was the get-things-done-guy, reminiscent of my father.

Prashant’s skill at public speaking was like seeing my brother in action.

Joining in on a Hindu ritual reminded me of my sister and her faith.

Akash and Suraj became my brothers, just like Garrett did over last summer.

In a bookstore in Delhi, I appreciated what Nana, my grandmother, had done for me all these years with books.