Excursion to Kodaicanal
March 17, 2008:
Much remains the same, but many things have changed for me in Madurai. The big changes, the ones whose impact I feel, are the ending internships and departing of some of my new friends. First on March 8, Yoshodora and Salma left. On March 7th, we had a goodbye party for them. Many people from the office cam and spoke about them, retold stories. And because Riskhan and Jivandwa were leaving shortly, it equally was a goodbye party for them too. Yoshodora and Salma were part of the “committee.” We laughed, ate, played together. We disturbed one another at work. We more or less were all inseparable. Yoshodora cried that last day, and I felt a mixture of sadness and inevitability as they moved on to the rest of their working life.
But I also knew that I would be able to stay in contact with them, and that was reassuring.
Riskhan and Jivandwa left the following week.
Jivandwa, from Nepal
, was very quiet, but very sweet and nice.
We talked a lot, but he did not accompany us to dinner or social occasions. But the time we had was genuine.
Riskhan from Sri Lanka
was more or less my other half here.
We traveled to work daily together.
He spoke English well, we talked a lot, hung out, went shopping, pretty much did everything together.
I’m not sure there was any one thing that connected us, but somehow there was an inarticulable bond. Often he would be online chatting late at night, me on the other computer, and it just felt good to be there with him.
Celebrating a decade of Human Rights Education
With the loss of these four, I felt sadness for losing good friends.
But one thing I’ve learned here about traveling: If I’m sad to leave a place I visited, then I have visited it properly and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I think that maybe it’s the same with friends. If I’m sad that they are leaving, it is only because I have enjoyed my time with them, enjoyed them, and created something. So, I did not need to “hold on” to them, I just wished them well knowing that we shared a very special time of our lives together, though for a short time.
The rains came unseasonably to Madurai. Hard rain for 2 weeks straight. The roads were flooded, the air humid, but much cooler than it normally is. I continue my yoga training in the mornings, and work in the day. Dinner is quieter now, and the language barrier is much more apparent now that Yoshodor, Salma, Jivandhwa, and Riskhan have left. Raja, a young Indian attorney, and I have begun to talk more. He asks me lots of questions, and vocabulary words I’ve never used before. I like the interest in me and English. I like to help. Ananth and Pradeep talk to, they are trying to talk with me more, learn, but it’s hard.