My mother spent all of yesterday crying. She fried up some turkey sausages for Nitin, and I asked him if they were extra salty -- that's how bad it was.
She says she is going to miss us so, that we are going too far away, that Naya will grow up and forget them, that we will be missed at holidays and average-days alike.
Funny how she forgets. She did the same exact thing to her parents more than three decades ago -- and when my elder brother was about the same age as Naya.
Some quick background: My father emigrated from India in 1971, to the YMCA on Manhattan's Upper West Side to be exact. He was 30 and sought greater opportunity.
On Thursday night, I leave for India to join a business publication. I am 30 and seek greater opportunity, as well.
My mother arrived in 1974, with a baby who had never met his father. I don't kid myself that our migrations are that similar. They were poor, living in an ungentrified Brooklyn, working hourly wage jobs from the DA's office, Burger King and eventually Citibank, where my father would work for most of his life. Neither of their parents, left behind in Assam, lived in homes with phones or sit-down toilets. Blue aerograms sent their news back and forth, usually in a language I couldn't read. My mother always saved the back flap for me to write a few lines or draw a picture. I usually drew a stick figure of a girl with big teardrops "because I miss you sooooooo much," I would write.
Yesterday, we set up Nitin's new Mac, which comes with an inconspicuous camera that allows us to shoot video of our child and her antics that we can email my parents. So they won't miss out on everything.