I just woke up from a dream… a really vivid, makes-my-heart-hurt dream.
About Jodhpur, India.
If you know me in real life, you probably know, living in Jodhpur is my “other life” – the one I would pursue if I didn’t have this super-awesome one with 3 kids and a husband who thinks India is really hot.
I can usually repress thinking about how much I miss it.
But I just woke up from a commonly-recurring dream about a homecoming trip to Jodhpur. They used to be less emotional, just me wandering around India, trying to find places I remember but don’t know the route to.
But this one just tore out my heart.
It was a reunion with my most love India families – Anindita, Man Singh & Anita, Honey & Rajeshwari.
The hard part of the dream focused on Anindita:
She’s like my Indian sister. When I lived in Jodhpur in 1999, she was in college – and I was just out of college.
I spent the night at her house, talked about future hope & dreams in our different family-cultural systems of expectation.
In the dream, I see Anindita, start crying and hug her. I ask her about children and she says she has a 9 year-old. I realize this means she was pregnant last time I was there, before either of us were married. I feel hurt and confused, because neither of our family-cultural systems support this, but we could have shared this.
Then I woke up. And I feel sadder with reality, due to the dream.
Because reality is the reverse of this:
My last visit to Jodhpur was in January of 2001, one month before Joel and I got married.
About 1 day into the 17-day trip, I could barely muster the energy to walk down a street. By the 3rd day, when we actually arrived in Jodhpur, I was pretty certain that I must be pregnant… and in a foreign country with only 1 other person… and with my whole identity around being a Christian missionary, in a identity-crisis.
It was the hardest time of my life.
And I spent most of this time faking I was okay with Anindita.
I had a reason not to tell:
I really wanted her to know about my God, and I didn’t want to make Him look bad by being another fake-Christian American like most Indians have seen on movies.
Cause He really is EVERYTHING, even if I get pregnant before I’m married.
I didn’t want to cancel it all out.
I didn’t know if I could explain grace in a culture where shame is so powerful, dictating your every move.
I’ve never had a chance to tell her.
After that trip, I came home to my wedding only 2 weeks away, my first scary ultrasound 6 weeks away, and then had Arabella 7 months later…
Every year, as time passes, I want to write a letter, catch up, show her my babies.
But I never had.
I look for her ANYWHERE on the internet all the time. Haven’t found her yet.
I miss Anindita. I wish I had just told her the truth at the time.