Last year, on this day, I took my mom by the hand and we left behind the darkest winter of our lives.
When we stepped on that plane, all I wanted was to forget the worries, the sadness, the apathy. Who knew what was going to happen? But it could only get better. The one thing I knew, upon arriving at our destination at 4 in the morning: despite the late hour, Chennai was bustling with people of all ages. And it was hot.
A 3 hour taxi ride later, we arrived at, what would be our home for the next couple of weeks; an ashram near Puducherry in southeast India.
I spent my first days becoming familiar with the new surroundings and the people living there. I read. I talked to the kindest people. I ate delicious food.
Soon, my days started with an hour of yoga on the rooftop at 6 am, with sounds from the nearby jungle in the background. Often it would drizzle.
I walked, dreamt in the hammock in the cashew forest, had moonlight picnics on the beach. I drove my bike through the village, went to the little café at the beach and ate beautiful fruit salads. There of all places, in that tiny café at the beach, I met someone, who would become one of the most important people in my life.
And the sun. The hot, glowing, yellow sun.
My time in India didn't change who I was. Much more, it helped me find my old self again. The one, that had been lost in the fog. The one, that had lost its way. The one, that had lost the best Papa possible.
My time in India, put me back on my feet. It put the smile back on my face and the happiness back in my heart.
And I am so grateful for it.
I cannot but be nostalgic about this date, and a big part of me wishes to get on a plane right now.
But things are good here. Really good. Yes, I hate the cold and shamefully, my thesis doesn't write itself. But my family and friends are here and that makes me happier than anything.
I miss him, everyday. But that's ok.