|After a quiet, comfortable overnight trip by train, we arrived back into Dehli finding it in the same state as we left it. As we disembarked from our air-conditioned sleeper car; we were prime targets for all of the tuk tuk drivers who wanted to take us on a ride.
We quickly bypassed everyone directly to a payphone to call Rajahn, who planned to meet us near the train station and take us to his home and introduce us to his family. Once again, he whisked us away through the mayhem and into his neighborhood, a part of Dehli we would have completely missed had it not been for meeting and befriending Rajahn.
As we walked the second floor apartment he shares with his entire immediate family, his mom already had a pot of chi brewing and greeted us with a warm welcome. His dad had finished his exercises and was quick to show us his spry yoga moves. His brother was brought out his laptop and high Tec phone with pictures of all of his girlfriends (Indian and English), with a preemptive statement that he would be happy marrying any American girl we had in mind for him. And then there was Rajahn's wife, a beautiful, quiet woman with a warm, sincere smile. I wanted so much to sit and chat with her. She was about my age, and up to that point, I hadn't had much interaction with Indian women. But she only spoke a couple of English words.
We had finished our tea and a strange, refreshing red fruit digestive drink, and before we knew it, we had a full lunch sitting in front of us. Even though we had already eaten, there was no denying the hospitality.
When we were finished eating, Rajahn's mom and his wife took me back into the one bedroom, wrapped a sari around me and dressed me up in a red dot (for my forehead), earrings, bangles, bright red lipstick and eye makeup to follow. There was a lot of smiling back and forth with words spoken, but very little comprehension as to what the words meant. We modeled for the men, who were chatting in the living room (all of the men spoke very good English). The men must have felt like they were missing out, as Rajahn's brother began sorting through his closet to find proper Indian dress for Tommy. Once we were both transformed, it was getting to be close to the time we needed to catch our bus to Dharmashala and they insisted we wear our new clothes to the bus station. I convinced them that pants were much more comfortable for a 12 hour busride than a stiff dress, but Tommy left wearing all white pajamas. I'd like to say we blended right in at the bus station, but that would be a stetch!