Samir is excited to have me back at his house but it seems that his excitement is having difficulty transferring to his mother. It’s already late and Samir is fully prepared to ask his mother to do all the cooking even when she’s ready for bed. We sit on the floor of his living room and I notice a few mice running along the walls. Hmmmm it’s ok if the plates are clean right?
Through conversation we get onto the subject of women and I ask if he’s thinking about getting married. He replies quite casually “oh yes of course I’ll be getting married, but only when I feel like it”.
I question further to discover that his outlook on finding a woman is as simple as going to the marriage councillor with his mother to select a wife. He is not fussed about the idea of attracting a woman with his charms as he feels that isn’t really necessary. For the rest of the night we have conversation whilst his mother is busy in the kitchen preparing a beautiful and tasty fish curry. A specialty dish considering both of them are vegetarians.
I question further about what his mother would do for most of the day and he says that her place is here in the house. If work needs to be done outdoors that would be his task. It would seem that the roles here in the village are calved into stone. All of this information whilst never seeing her come into the room for anything other than collecting plates and or cleaning up after us. After this cold hard reality slap, I feel even more inspired to give the power of change to the younger generations.
By the time we finish dinner I’m exhausted and certainly ready for sleep, again another night on a rock hard bed that I’m now becoming accustomed to. We wake up early to start the fire to heat the water for the shower again.
We have a quick breakfast thanks to his mothers fine cooking and make our way down to the bus stop. Samir waits with me at the station for the bus to arrive 20 minutes later, he proceeds to get onto the bus to have a personal conversation with the bus driver to ensure that I am dropped off at the right station. As the bus pulls away he stands tall maintaining eye contact and waving until it is no longer possible.
Tears begin to stream down my face as I realise just how pure and authentic the generosity of Paresh & Samir had been. I was cared for like a brother by people I previously had no connection with. Not once did I feel uncomfortable or unsure if I was welcome in their town. I spent the rest of the bumpy bus ride back to Anjuna, Goa feeling a warm positive glow from within. This profound experience had already happened and I was only in my first week! What else could happen I wondered?