We fooled everyone into thinking our weeks of home trip planning, 19 hours aboard two airplanes, and tongue biting as we navigated incompetent airport security, was all to spend time with friends and family. We may truly be evil geniuses. Boooohahahahahaha (evil-sounding, deep-throated, sinister laugh)!
An expat going home from India is a bit more complicated than flying on holiday to Florida for a week—it’s akin to planning an Everest summit and starts weeks before departure, setting in motion a series of events starting with a grueling trek and ending after family visits, gastro satisfaction, and enough shopping to collapse a Sherpa.
Police Report: Drafted by Hyperabad Police Detective Rajiv Abu.
Detective Abu, herein referred to as Detective, interviewed the owner, Robert J. Richey, herein referred to as “Owner,” at his place of residence, villa 41 (No. 41) Clear Heavens, Kokapet, Hyderabad, Telangana, India, 500075, nearest landmark being the Sheraton, Gachibowli, which isn’t actually very close, but since we require a landmark for everything, it will have to do. The interview commenced at 17:00 on 17 December 2015.
A short time ago, in what might well be the exact center of India, if such a place exists, lived a handsome, albeit slightly lazy and extremely spoiled, prince. Prince Prithviraj, or Raj to his friends, or more often, Prithviraj Anuj Reddy to his mother, whom he referred to as Mother, and who, wielding Indian guilt like a batsman protecting the wickets at the Ranji Trophy cricket championship, was constantly chiding him about getting married and providing her with grandchildren, even though I, um, he, already told her, time and again that he, a modern accomplished Indian Prince, would not stand for an arranged marriage.
India has a few problems: it is dirty, crowded and loud. Smell fusion is everywhere—cardamom-garbage, sidewalk-food-vendor-lentil-car-exhaust, and the curry-oil-tobacco-charcoal-tea blend—a deluge of scents providing memory road signs for the future. Car noise and honking horns are the concert of the city, from piccolo to crescendo and back. The sights and sounds become overwhelming and its difficult to see India past her problems. But beyond the funk and noise, the trash-lined streets and organized beggars, there is an India of personalities and people.