There I was, on a bus in India….actually, a lot of stories could start out this way, but here’s this one in particular.
The bus was on the outskirts of a city and was stopped by a protest in the streets and….well….I really needed to go to the loo. I made my way through the crowd on the bus, hopped off, and asked an older man standing by his home if I could use his bathroom. He was more than happy to lead me into his house, through his house, out of his house, and into the back yard…..yikes!….where there was an outhouse. Oh, well, it certainly beat any other options I had at that moment. It turned out to be a very nice outhouse.
I took care of business as quickly as possible and headed back into his house….where his daughter or daughter-in-law had put together an entire meal for me! (I really wasn’t in there that long, I promise.) She probably already had it pulled together for her family, but still. She held the large plate out to me as if I was a long-awaited, highly revered guest. I was so surprised I could hardly talk.
A huge commotion erupted in the streets serenaded by the bus honking.
“Come now!” a number of people called from the doorway.
“Thank you so much for doing this for me,” I said to the young woman, “and I’m so sorry I have to go.”
Oh, the look of dismay on her face! Turning down a meal in India is not quite in the category of international incident, but it’s close.
“YOU MUST COME NOW!”
A westerner using the man’s outhouse had attracted a lot of attention. Most of India could’ve probably heard the now-huge throng in the street and half the bus passengers hanging out the windows, all shouting at me.
The bus was slowly starting to wend its way down the street by the time I jumped on. I tried to get to my seat as quickly as possible to wave goodbye to the man and the young woman.
Could you imagine if the reverse happened in this country? I would hope we’d do the same thing. Oh, what a wonderful world it would be if everyone was so hospitable.
I still see the love shining in her eyes.
Yes, love shows its face every minute of every day, but this was one particular minute that particular day.