That dreaded, final day arrived. The guys met me at the Mewar Haveli for breakfast. We were all moping, knowing that our month of fun together would soon be at an end. Nirmal arrived looking tired. He hadn’t had much sleep and didn’t even have time to find clean clothes. He was wearing the same chocolate-smeared shirt as he had on at the party the night before.
Rafiq’s brother Imtiyaz joined us. Pushker has a big bromance going with him. Pushker loves him like he was his own brother, and there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for him. But he’s constantly punching him, poking him and screwing around with him. That’s how guys show other guys love: with plenty of punishment!
We talked and laughed, avoiding talking about the inevitable. In a few hours, they’d be driving me to the airport. What was I going to do without my daily dose of dudes and laughter??
* * *
I’ve been back in the States for a couple of months now. It’s where I live, but it doesn’t seem like home any more. Udaipur and having my dudes around me is what seems like home. They’ve become an important part of my life. I miss them terribly and think of them every day.
We keep in touch on Skype regularly. Rafiq laughs about being amazed when he saw me coming out of the airport when I arrived at the beginning of June but said, “please, no more surprises!” He wants to know when is the next time I’m returning so he can anticipate it over the coming months. “We’re lost without you,” he said. “We talk about you every day.”
We’re all anticipating now. I’ll be back in Udaipur in February 2014.