Biking from the train station in Hasimara to the border of Bhutan was another perfect day. We navigated some gnarly roads under construction and some smooth roads through the tea fields, but none of the roads were boring roads. While we had great enthusiasm for entering Bhutan, we were also departing the first Asian country either of us had biked in – India. This required some letting go—we knew this was going to be a transition.
Leaving Hasimara Train Station
Tea Estate in West Bengal
As of today we have lived a full month not knowing where we’d be sleeping that night or the next day. The unknown can be scary, but once we faced it, we loved the freedom. The people and the wonderful meetings. The freedom of the road. The unknown. This is why it was extra special when a Bengalese family invited us in from the scorching heat for tea and a meal. Their kindness, like so many in India, made us feel like we were their guest – as if they were expecting us.
We shared stories, talked about our families, our mothers and their similar crochet and knitting skills. We found common ground and enjoyed each other’s company for nearly two hours. Some members of the family washed up and changed clothes while we “took tea and cookies.” Seeing their transition from a regular clothes to even nicer attire demonstrated how they felt our visit to be a special occasion. The family gathered to take a photo capturing us with four generations. The women held my hand or squished up against my shoulders real tight. Solidarity.
Before we left the family enthusiastically gifted us a copy of their holy book, the Bhagavad-Gita. A bittersweet moment as we rode our final day in India.