I wanted to travel around the world, always. My commitments to my parents, siblings, family and children held me back from taking off to unknown lands and new people. Today I turn 48 and I am making my first solo trip to distant places. As I board the big plane to Delhi, I think of my yearning to see the Taj Mahal. It was something I wanted to see with the love of my life. Since that plan never materialized, I am starting my journey with the one place I want to see before I die.
It was Diana who gave me the idea of finding a co-traveller on the internet so I didn’t have to make this journey alone. I set up a profile on the findatraveller.com website and waited for a match. This was similar to the matrimony sites but found travelers, not leashes. That is how I found Jay. It was his first time as well visiting the Taj Mahal. He was traveling from Paris to Delhi and the deal was to meet him at Delhi airport. Travel plans were made so we would arrive in Delhi a few hours apart.
I was really looking forward to this trip, a journey through the streets of Delhi followed by a tour of the palaces at Rajasthan. A ten day ordeal. I had packed my cotton clothes to beat the heat and had adviced Jay to do the same. I would wear an orange salwar and Jay said he would meet me at the Air India Lounge. I got there first and sat down browsing my phone waiting for Jay to arrive.
A coupe of hours passed before a pair of shoes planted themselves in front of me. I look up and “Anu?”, he asks.
I stand up as he takes two steps back. I extend my hand which he grabs with a strong hold.
“Yes.. Jay?”, I quip.
“Shall we go?”
“Yeah, let’s go”.