07 January 2017


I look down at my left hand to carefully examine my palm. Only ever so faint traces of the henna are still barely detectable near the heel of my hand. The beautiful, delicate henna design has served as my measure of time since I can physically watch time slip away with the pigment placed on my skin.

My heart aches at the faintness of the art, the mark of love that once adorned my palm. Sadness sinks in when I realize that in a few short days all traces will be gone; however, the marks on my heart, the etching on my soul will never be removed.

It has been three weeks since the henna was applied to my left palm. It was a portion of what Tour Director had asked the gal to do. While he was angry that the artist hadn't done everything he asked, I was flattered that he cared that much about what the art looked like; the fact that it meant something to him too beyond my simple request to have "henna on my hands". I can still hear Tour Director in my ear telling me that the quality and amount of henna applied to a woman prior to her wedding is an important gauge of how the bride's mother-in-law feels about the bride.

Earlier that day, I had been the model for the group when we were at an amazing silk weaving business and the sales man was showing us the sari fabric. Of course, I was volunteered to go up on the platform to have the sari draped on me. The magical silk fabric was Texas orange and this man folded and whipped this delicious fabric around me in a whirlwind similar to Cinderella being dressed for the ball. Everyone ooh'd and awed. I felt so beautiful. I could not look at the back of the room where Tour Director was casually leaning against the checkout counter, his long body being held up by his bent left arm. I knew that if I looked at him I would give us away as the entire group would see my happiness radiating toward him. Summoning everything in my power to keep my eyes from him because in my heart I felt this overwhelming sensation that one day I'd be in a wedding sari with Tour Director looking deep into my soul by my side.

Later when we were alone, Tour Director asked my why I wouldn't look at him when I had the sari on and I shared my fear that we'd be exposed because I was so terribly giddy. He proceeded to tell me that I looked amazing in the dress and he so badly wanted to blow me a kiss while I was in it. I told him that if he had done that I would have for sure been overcome and poof! our situation would have been revealed.

So sitting in my dining room here today surrounded by snow, I find myself pondering what life has in store for me as well as me and Tour Director together. He and I spoke this morning. I hear his voice and all I want to do is get on a plane back to India - the world be damned! We truly miss each other as that yearning is palpable both over the phone as well as SMS. Everything is good with the exception that Tour Director is 9,000 miles/14,600 kilometers away. Not exactly conducive a quick weekend away.

I remind myself regularly that God did not place this amazing man in my path without a plan. I have my things to do and so does Tour Director. Doors will open when they are supposed to, not when I demand the doors to open. As the Tour Director and I SMS'd on New Year's Day, he'd slept through midnight as all parties were couple oriented. I told him that next year would be different and his response was "Inshallah". My reply was that "I hope Allah dropped me in your tour group for a reason". Tour Director immediately replied "Of course what do you think. He has a plan."

And so my new mantra has become "Inshallah".

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