Delhi Diary-Mr Rajasthani

Mr Rajasthani waits outside the airport. I can hear him before I see him. Two minutes later I find myself in an embrace that makes my ribs crack. „Here you are“, he says and looks at me. „You look, he starts, „world- weary, cynical and faded“ I finish? But Mr Rajasthani just laughs at me and hugs me again till I am breathless. While we drive from the airport to South East Delhi, I remember it all. The smell of burnt rubber along the roads that maybe is the smell of my childhood. The shadows in the street that are no shadows but children picking up trash. The men who sells jasmine in the middle of the road.Two buses abandoned now standing in the middle of the road. The heat that embraces you even tighter than Mr Rajasthani. When we arrive home Mr Rajasthani’s parents are already waiting. And more rib-cracking hugs follow. Two kids jump down the stairs and climb on my back. We have kittens now, they scream and I think of Queen Cat and sigh. A minute later I held two kids in my arms, followed by two furry balls. It’s 2AM and outside are 37 degrees. I feel like a roasted chicken. Mr Rajasthani’s parents reminded me from the first day I met them of Huji and Tuji, and still today I am convinced they must have some god-like ancestors. They giggle at me and would never, ever call me something else than the „girl- who -spit-out- tea, when- she first-came- to India. The whole neighborhood knows the story that I couldn’t swallow the first masala chai I ever had, because     it tasted like a cannonball exploding in my mouth. But Huji and Tuji never took offense, they just giggled as they do now, she pats my back and offers me a big steaming cup. I smile. Two hours later when I finally sink into my bed, I lay awake for a while and listen. The horns are honking as ever, somewhere next door a dog barks, underneath the balcony someone smoke a cigarette, a radio plays old Hindi music and while I get tucked up underneath my mosquito net I breath in the heat till I am covered in it as in a cosy duvet. Namasté Delhi, I think before I fall asleep.

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