Beautiful Chaos of My Desi Luggage

india-luggage-tag-1_1Last week on my way back from India when I landed at New York’s JFK airport, my country had a new President. For the first time, in 16 years of deplaning 30 odd international flights, kids and I were pulled aside for “agricultural inspection” of our baggage that included a scan followed by manual inspection of the baggage contents.

4 days later, my husband, a pathological frequent flyer :-), travelling on a completely different itinerary, lands at Newark airport but subjected to the same inspection, for the very first time as well!

Coincidence seems to be a long shot here, no? Of “walls and fences” I think.

Fortunately for us, we would never try to sneak in prohibited items so there was no fear or intimidation whatsoever, just sheer inconvenience after a 14 hour flight.

For all these years on my way back from India I’ve been tempted to write ” priceless” on the customs declaration form where they ask about the “Value of merchandise or souvenirs brought into the country”. That day while the Customs Officer rummaged through my suitcase with his latex gloved hands, he gradually uncovered bits and pieces of home for me. How I wanted him to question me about that sari, that earring or that small box next to it! I would have fondly reminisced the stories.

भतीजी की शादी में भैया भाभी से मिली प्यारी सी साड़ियॉ, पहन के फ़ोटो भेजने को कहा था उन्होंने

दीदी की दी हुई झुमकियॉ, कहा था “छोटी, ये तुझपे ख़ूब जचेगी ! ”

मम्मी के रखे हुए नमकपारे और तिल के लड्डु, बोली थी की New York सर्दी में चाय के साथ अच्छे रहेंगे

संजीव की मम्मी का दिया हुआ गरम मसाले का packet, बोली तुम्हारे Patel brothers में नहीं मिलेगा एसा, सरोजिनी नगर वाली गुप्ता चककी का है!

संजीव के पापा से मिली नाम और purchase date लिखी हुई किताबें और नई फ़िल्मों के कुछ DVD..

डैडी का थमाया हुआ एक शगुन का लिफ़ाफ़ा, आँखों में पानी भर के बोले थे “बेटा तू तो कभी कुछ माँगती ही नहीं, इसे रख ले..”

इस बैग में कपड़ों के बीच में दबा शादी की मिठाई का एक डिब्बा और हर तह में मेरे घर की यादों से भरा एक बाइस्कोप मिलेगा जनाब!

ज़रा फ़ुरसत से जाँचिये…

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: