christmas in india


I always say that I fell in love with my husband at Kinko’s. Charged with printing blown up photographs for the annual fundraiser for the afterschool program where we both worked, I arrived to pick them up only to find the pictures grainy and only half of the job completed. While I panicked that I’d be fired and was ready to scream at the woman at the counter, Terence calmly, but firmly explained what needed to be done and the urgency with which it had to be completed. We’d been dating for less than two months, but in that moment I thought, this is the person I need by my side. Three years later, we were engaged. For our Christmas affianced, we booked a trip overseas, eager to show our independence, and maybe even create a new tradition apart from our families. On December 22, 2009, we arrived to New Delhi, India. Our plan was to spend a few days there, and then on Christmas Eve we would take a train to Agra so that we could see the Taj Mahal on Christmas Day. From there, we’d travel through Rajasthan and eventually fly to Mumbai. We had tickets for an early morning train out of Delhi, and when we arrived at the station it was still dark. I knew immediately that I didn’t want to be there. People huddled around fires that were lit on the sidewalks and beggars swarmed. I told myself that when the sun came up, everything would feel less scary, but in my rush to get downstairs to the train track, I missed a step. My legs folded forward in a way that only a camel’s should.

more from Courtney Knowlton at The Common here.