Dear Brighu, Ranbir, Ramesh, Tamil, Jaimurthy, and those whose names I’ve forgotten or never knew:
Thank you. I know that maybe, maximum, two of you* will read this, but I want to put it out there anyway: from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Before coming to India I read a LOT of stories of what to expect as a female tourist, and you proved it all wrong. You never pressured me to stop somewhere I didn’t want to go. You always took me where I did want to go, even if you thought it was a dumb idea. You maybe did a little “told-you-so” when I figured out it was a dumb idea, but that’s fair. You bought me coffee when it was a chilly 4 am and chilled water when it was a muggy 4 pm. You pointed out the sunrise, and the seashore, and the yaks. You escorted me through temples and past the dudes outside the temples trying to sell me the same drum six different times. You navigated amazingly windy mountain roads and wildly tangled urban mazes. In short, you rock. Thank you for your part in a magical first trip to India, and I hope to meet at least some of you again.
*Himalayan Brothers, I’m lookin’ at you.