The second part of my trip will be spent in Udaipur visiting my friends Nirmal and Pushker and meeting their families. I met Nirmal when I wandered into his leather shop last year looking for a small purse. Pushker (red shirt) stopped by later. They’re friendly guys, so instead of buying the purse and leaving, I hung around. We talked and laughed for hours.
Nirmal was married last year. Unfortunately for me, the wedding was only a few months after I returned from India, so although I was invited, I was unable to attend. I’m eager to meet Bharti! Isn’t her wedding saree beautiful?
Cultural note: It’s traditional for an Indian bride to look sad at her wedding. She is to appear shy and modest. The sadness is because she’s leaving her family.
Nirmal and Bharti’s son arrived in May 2012. I’ll make his acquaintance this time.
Pushker lives at the family home with his parents, three older brothers and their wives. They must have an enormous house! It’ll be so nice to meet his mother so I can tell her what a nice son she has raised. After spending only a short time with me last year, Pushker “adopted” me as his second mom and presented me with a going away gift of a small wooden Ganesha. He asked me to put it in my house where I would see it every day to remind me of him. It’s right next to my computer.
I feel lucky to have made friends with so many nice people on my first trip to India. This isn’t a normal occurrence for me when I travel. My contacts with locals are usually brief moments, as you’d expect. It says a lot about how friendly Indians are and explains why I got a ten-year visa this time. With such wonderful people and so much to see and do, how could I not?