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.