It has been a long time since I blogged last.
Jackie, some time back you asked how my trip was. Honestly, it was not a big success, and it may have been my last visit to India. It just wasn't any fun. The friend with whom I went there was sick (because of some rotten food) for about two thirds of our trip, and many of our Indian 'friends' were acting very strangely.
Both my travel companion and I had (or thought we had) about a dozen friends in Mumbai. Only, most of them did not act friendly in any way. It may have been another of those cultural misunderstandings, but to me it is insulting if someone assures you (before you make the trip to another continent) "Great you are coming, lets meet, let me know if you need anything, you can stay with us!" - and when you get to Mumbai, the next you hear is, "I am in Delhi/Goa/Bangkok/Australia today/ this weekend /all week, but let's meet later and catch up! I'll call you when I am back". Then you never hear from them again until your flight home takes off. What kind of friend does that?
And this happened not with one person, but with seven, at least two of whom have lied about their respective business trips - one was seen and reported to us by another friend (thank God one of them remembered her offer and really let us stay with her, otherwise we would have needed to find a hotel room in a hurry), and we actually bumped into the other one when we visited Mehboob Studios in Bandra. There the person (who had SMSed us that he was in Australia) worked at a film shoot. He saw us, pretended to have come back just now, and disappeared again because of some "urgent work" somewhere else. Yeah, sure...
So despite a nice trip to the spectacular sights of Agra and Rajasthan, and some truly sweet encounters with the remaining few friends, India will remain a country of misunderstandings and broken promises for me.
Oh, and last but not least: On my very last afternoon in Mumbai I also bumped into "him". There is fate for you: You travel to a city with 20 million inhabitants, and you accidentally meet the one you try to forget.
Luckily, he had grown a not-very-attractive paunch and beard, and all in all I was too surprised to react emotional in any way. So I smiled, asked him how he was, and if he was happy. But he could or would not say much. Later that night I received an SMS from him, (in fluent English, which means it was written by someone else), calling me "Darling" and asking me to stay and meet him. But I only answered I didn't want him to play games with me again, and wished him a happy life. Even if I had been tempted: The same night my flight left for Frankfurt.
So now I am back in Europe with all my heart. The whole India episode has lasted almost one year, and it is over.
Bollywood is meant for the big screen, not for life. Not for mine, anyway.