The Car Ride With A Buddhist

The customs line at JFK was super long. I had to wait for 1.5 hours to get past it. I was exhausted. I just wanted to curl up in my bed.

After what seemed to be forever, I finally came out of JFK and sat in my Uber. The driver was a Buddhist from Nepal. We had a very long chat about Nepal and Tibet and it’s differences. He talked about why he came to the US. He educated me on various Buddhist principles. The traffic back home was horrible.

While waiting, it suddenly started pouring. “New York has an unpredictable weather” He said. He was right. After 1 hour of talking, I was exhausted. I needed silence. He noticed that I was not willing to talk anymore.

There, in the midst of a long traffic line along the Van Wyck Expressway, as I sat in an UberX while the rain was pouring down, my brain interpreted the silence around me.

I remembered all the meaningless quarrels and qualms that I have had with the people I love. People whom I thought were permanent are no longer in contact with me. People whom I wanted close were residing far away from me. It just seemed like I decided to start a blog under the influence of a best friend, yesterday. But it has already been 8 years of me trying to write. Time is a thief.

Suddenly the silence was too loud for me. I had to break it.

I noticed that he had some sort of rotating device on the dashboard. I inquired after it.

“It is a prayer wheel” he said. “It has a mantra embossed on it. and each time it turns, it is equal to reciting the mantra. It brings good luck and prosperity”.

“I wish you good luck and prosperity” I said.

It almost brought tears to his eyes. He wished the same for me.

“You know, people whom I drive never talk to me. Mainly because I am a driver and maybe because I am not white. It is exhausting to drive an hour long without talking”

“That must be difficult. I am sorry if I don’t seem talkative. I had a long journey”

“That is okay. I know it is my job. But thanks for talking with me” He said

“Do you miss Nepal?” I asked.

“Back in Nepal I did not have money. Now I earn more. Yes, I miss Nepal. But my family is with me here in Jackson heights. So I am happy. Living without the people you love is harder”

He was right.

Home is not a place. It’s the people you love unconditionally.



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