Leaving the international airport in Mumbai was when India first ‘hit me’. Walking from the air-conditioned terminal, I was smacked in the face by the heavy heat, I was finally in India! The other travelers and I piled into the bus to the domestic airport, it felt so surreal to know I was only a couple of minutes from finally being reunited with the love of all my lives. I felt completely sick with excitement, I jabbered absolute nonsense to the girl sat next to me, even when I could see the regret in seat choice wash across her face. My first day in India!
I walked through the last security point and into the domestic departures hall, I frantically looked around but he wasn’t there. Several men were sleeping on the benches, I looked at them all, searching for his face. I started to panic, lost in unfamiliarity, I could feel my eyes start to fill with tears. Then through my bleary eyed exhaustion, I saw his eyes moving towards me as he embraced me. I was paralysed with happiness and relief. We were finally reunited.
Together we boarded the plane to Nagpur, my new home. My stomach churned with anticipation (and later with an upset stomach). Destiny brought us together, distance wasn’t able to pull us apart. My in-laws were waiting at the airport when we arrived with roses and smiles. When we arrived at the house, his grandparents were there to welcome us both as a couple into the home in the traditional Hindu way (grandma relieved I wasn’t wearing a mini skirt).
Later that same morning, two huge monkeys found their way into the kitchen! After some screaming, the gate-keeper chasing them away with a stick! Along with that, quite high up the long list of times I had to pinch myself during that first day, was riding through Nagpur on the back of my soon-to-be husband’s motorbike. There is such a feeling of freedom siting there, watching the city go by with the eyes of a child, dodging cows lying in the road, with the warm breeze on my face (I only saw two people wearing helmets over a period of five weeks).
I felt every emotion during my first day in India but most of all, I felt blessed to have found my husband.