16 Aug, 2007

Dramatic return to Houston

16 Aug, 2007

Last Thursday, Minal and I flew out of Karachi right as a heavy rainstorm was starting up—our only experience of the monsoon this year—and it took us over an hour to get to the airport because of flooded streets. After all the lame connections in west Asia that one has to make when entering and leaving Pakistan (we had two: one in Muscat and the other in Bahrain), Minal and I landed in Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. We were exhausted and hungry. We stood in line to get some naashta. Minal was being (understandably) cranky.

She yanked the tray that was on the counter and my hot coffee slid off and fell on her. She got a burn about 2” x 2” on her back. First aid helpers and doctors showed up immediately and bandaged her up and said she was okay enough to fly. By some small miracle, after she stopped crying, we were actually able to make our connecting flight to the US.

When we reached Dallas, I called René to tell him what was going on, and he broke the news that on Thursday night (about 1 or 2 hours before Minal had her accident), he had a horrible car crash. He came out of it with shattered elbow bones and a bashed up eye, and the car was totaled. Again, like Minal, René is okay but obviously has pain.

We arrived in the States last Friday evening—and spent Saturday at the Children’s Hospital for Minal and Sunday at an another emergency center for René. Over the week, Minal’s burn has almost completely healed, and her bandage (bandik, as she says) is off. René on the other hand will have surgery this coming week so his elbow bone resets fine.

Other random news: the weekend we landed, Houston was experiencing a heat wave. Last Monday afternoon our neighborhood had a power outage for 3 hours, and it felt like we were back in Karachi. And then today, there were heavy thunderstorms that caused the temperatures to drop but also created flooding around the city. After one hour of lashing rain, our street had water rising over a foot. I couldn’t even reverse my car into our street to go to the office or pick up Minal. So, I took time out to do yoga and writing. As I meditated, I registered that today is the first time in nearly six weeks that I am in a space completely by myself and the hustle of Karachi is now far behind me.