I spent some time playing tour guide to Tracy and Sarah and showed them around Delhi. Taking them to the sights and bringing them to restaurants I had visited in the past; ones that were special to me.
We also took a day to marvel at the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra. It is one of those buildings that absolutely lives up to its billing; maybe even surpasses it.
Evenings have been spent playing cards; the television is on but primarily as background noise. The mood of the last few days, for everyone, has been somber. We missed the camaraderie and for the first time in a month our group was no longer.
It has been a special time for us all.
We all had different reasons for doing the trip and more often than not the reason was much more about something at home, a personal trouble, rather than a burning desire to save the world. This applied to me as much as anyone.
The few of us that remain are never going to be close friends in the future but we are friends at this moment. I have made a close friend on the trip but unfortunately she already left. The group was comprised of mostly “she’s” and a couple of “he’s”. Unfortunately it was one of the “he’s” that had been the reason behind much of the tension.
The group definitely bonded in the way many groups do; with a united dislike for one member bringing all the others that much closer. I have seen this happen over and over on trips I have run through Europe.
The key is to not be that guy.
Other tensions had erupted between some of the group members and some of the organizational staff. I am not sure of the exact details but would feel confident that temperature sapped attitudes and borderline exhaustion contributed to these near meltdowns.
Now, here we are in Delhi, in a hotel room, playing cards, feeling somber and missing friends; we joked around. Distraction was the name of the game. It is always difficult to move past a time where emotions were left raw for an extended period.
I believe 500 was being dealt and as jokers were evacuated from hands and queens in triplicate were laid down on the bed, the TV came to life with the Indian film crew covering the Academy Awards in Hollywood.
All the famous American interviewers were there grabbing the attention of stars and asking the typical questions. “Who are you wearing”?…”oh its [insert an Italian name], I just love the way she makes me look so glamorous! Sigh”.
The camera then pans to the Indian correspondent.
As beautiful as she was, and as persistent, she struggled at every turn to garner any notice what-so-ever from any red carpet attendee. I began to feel a pang of embarrassment for her and sadness towards those who bade her no time. It also made me realize that every country in the world must have a representative present; therefore it’s no wonder it takes hours for the invited to walk the red carpet.
We watched her struggle for attention for some time; not once receiving anything more than a cursory glance as someone mistook her for the keeper of a more important podium. Kudos to the Indian network for still airing the awards even though, by all accounts, their representative on location had been snubbed.
Slumdog Millionaire would be along in a couple of years and then the tide would change…until then.
To find out how this all came about; click Beckoned Skyward by an Earthquake.