A million years ago, on 7th April 2020, my girlfriend had to leave India. The COVID shit had hit the fan and splattered all over the world; her Indian visa was on the verge of expiration, international travel was getting suspended everywhere and countries were repatriating their citizens back home. We did what we thought was best to do at the time—have her go back. Little did we know what we were signing up for.
My girlfriend holds an American passport and I hold an Indian one. So our jaatka/patrika/kundali (horoscope) doesn’t match according to many governments. And as we all know, the jaatka-matching process is as beautiful as watching rabid dogs fight.
Like everyone else, we thought the situation would subside and we would soon be able to return to normalcy. But things continued to be uncertain. As days turned into weeks and weeks into months—and the word ‘new normal’ got thrown around a lot—it quickly became clear to us that we would have to stay apart for a while.
India had already banned all international flights and imposed its world famous lockdown.
As the pandemic situation got pathetic in US, thanks to abi-ki-baar-Trump-sarkaar
, India continued to stay the ban on flights from US, only opening up partially in October 2020.
Starting my blog
and this newsletter
in Jan this year was one way of focusing my energies on things that were under my control, as I awaited a resolution on this situation. In Feb, my girlfriend and I decided that I would go to US instead of her coming to India, as our options for the latter got exhausted. But I also wanted to see my sister and family, who were coming to meet my parents after a year. This was followed by my dad braving a heart-attack
and all of us coming to terms with that as a family.
Soon after, the Modi government got terribly upset that India was lagging behind in COVID cases; so they executed a deadly second wave
in April and gifted the delta variant to the world. Following this, US banned all flights from India on May 4th.
This was the last straw and utterly frustrating to say the least.
Both countries—India and US—had now banned flights from one another. I panicked and considered pulling off a last minute stunt by getting on a US bound flight overnight to exit the country, before the ban could take effect… and also join the ‘Mallya club’.
My girlfriend asked me to calm down and not go “anywhere near an airport”. Not that I could really do any of that; we were still in lockdown from the second wave.
It wasn’t until she said “we can meet in a third country” that I stopped freaking out.
It hadn’t struck me until then, that we didn’t have to meet in India or US. We could meet in any country that would let us both in.
After much planning, researching and sending mails
, we finalised the place and date to meet.
The entire period of separation was a trying time for us, both as individuals and as a couple. And the days leading up to the journey involved a lot of work riddled with uncertainity.
Long story long, after being separated for a year and hundred days, and going through a strenuous journey—inner and outer—my girlfriend and I finally met in Mexico two days ago—16th July 2021. I am writing to you from a secluded beach town, 8000 miles away from where I wrote you the last issue
A lot of this was made possible due to the love and support extended by both sets of our parents.
It takes a village to raise a child, but it might take the entire world to unite two lovers.
Thank you for doing your part.
Until next time,