I’m sitting here at my desk and can’t seem to get into work yet this morning; thinking of my son Narayan who is traveling right now to India. Yesterday we saw him off at the airport along with some of his local friends who are going with him. Everything went really well, and the kids were like a clan together, excited to go on the travel adventure. I was really happy that there was no emotional scene. We stood at the window watching the airplane leave the gate, saying silent prayers for a safe and smooth journey.
After the plane took off, Charanjeet realized Narayan was really gone and started to say how she wanted Narayan back. As we drove home from the airport I monitored his flight progress on my phone. By the time we got home Narayan had landed in Los Angeles and was meeting up with the rest of the west coast group. He sounded great and like he was having a great time. For some reason I felt the need to keep checking the flight status on the "FlightTrack" application on my phone, since it gave real time information about the flights.
After the flight took off from Los Angeles to London on a 10 hour flight I put down the phone and tried to go to sleep. It just hit me all of a sudden. I felt so emotional and the tears just flowed. It wasn’t a rational thing, since I knew the kids are safe, secure and going to be in a great situation. I had flashbacks of myself as a kid going to India. The emotional side of realizing that I won’t see Narayan for a long while was hitting me. It was one of those things that it just pure emotion and just my body processing the change.
Earlier this summer another parent who sent his son to India many years ago was sharing his experience saying it was like having his heart ripped out. I guess when you get used to having your children around all the time, there is a void when they are gone. This morning it made me think of my grandmother who is getting pretty old and recently lost her husband. She treasures the pictures I send her of our kids and any time we come to visit. I now have an inkling of how it might feel when your kids "grow up" and leave the house. So much of your life revolves around your children, and when they are gone, then it is a major change. It’s another one of those lessons of appreciating all the time we have on the earth and the joys of family.
Our lifestyle is very spiritually centered, and so I really do feel that we as parents really are just care takers for our children. We are here to train and help them be light houses to uplift themselves and others. We don’t own them. I think sometimes we can be selfish and to things for our own purposes, rather then what is best for your children. I feel like this is one of those situations, where I know Narayan going to MPA is an excellent choice for Narayan. He is the coal being molded, shaped and carved into a diamond. It would be selfish to keep him from this experience which will change his life. We all have our destinies on this earth and I want to give Narayan as many tools as he can to reach his highest potential.
Right now Narayan is at the London airport with the rest of the group getting ready to take his next leg of the trip which is a 9 hour flight to New Delhi, and then they get on buses for a 13 hour (?) drive to Amritsar. I really wish there was still direct flights to Amritsar on some of the major airlines, which would have save them a huge amount of travel time. Traveling for 2 days straight burns you out! I remember the feeling of arriving in New Delhi after the long flights, and as soon as you walk outside you are hit with that thick humid hot sticky air and swarms of people. Then the long bus drive to the school (which was GNFC in Mussoorie back in my days).
I’m sure in the next few days I’ll feel more normal and will adjust to having one less child with me. This is one of those things that I didn’t relate to when other people were sending their kids off to India, but now I have experienced it first hand (at least the first parts).
The full circle is complete. Me going to India and experiencing that, and now the reverse of being the parent sending my son to India.
Over the years this blog has become a place to journal much of my family life. Many of you have seen my kids grow up through the pictures and videos. It is a nice little "archive" of our family life. It will be interesting to look back on all this many years from now.
Anyways, all is well. The kids are in the hands of Guru Ram Das now. The adventure continues….