Dispatch #14 – Bombay, India

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The One (photograph) That Got Away

I regret not being able to take the photograph of an Air France Bombay airport employee I met for the first time in 2006 and again on this trip. As I was moving through the departure gate for my Paris flight I heard a male voice behind me say, “I remember you!” I turned to see the chocolate brown Buddha shaven head smiling face of a 40’ish Indian fellow. I instantly recognized him as the brother who assisted me with my excess baggage in 2006.

On that trip upon noticing that my passport was issued in San Francisco, he mentioned something about Alice Walker living in the bay area. I teasingly asked, “What ‘chew know about Alice Walker?” He exclaimed, “I LOVE Alice Walker’s work!” He then rattled off all the titles he had read and asked me ” Have you read her books?” “And do you know Toni Morrison’s work?” “I loved reading Beloved and Sula.” We discussed the challenges we both experienced in reading “Song of Solomon” and the complexity and beauty of “Beloved.”

What an adventure! There I was in the wee hours of the morning in Bombay, India having this spontaneous discussion with a male airport employee. I was absolutely delighted by the exchange and was pleased to meet him again this year.

Jai Maa!

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