It’s almost 8 years since I was last here in Delhi, India. I’ve said plenty of times that I love India, and I do, but there’s something missing this time.
I travelled here with a great team. I’d be more than happy to plan other trips with Kieran, Emma and Alan. We’ve had wonderful times and experienced some amazing things that both broke and lifted our hearts. I wouldn’t want to swap that for the world but somehow this trip, my third to this incredible country, just hasn’t been the same.
Today that difference was brought home even more as I met up with many familiar faces from previous journeys here. The people were welcoming, as always, and I was more than happy to see them, but the joy was tinged with sadness.
The last two trips to India were made with my good friend Mark Simpfendorfer. Mark passed away a little over three years ago.
We first travelled to India together in 2003. Mark was here to capture my ride from Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, to Delhi. It was an amazing experience for both of us. Neither of us really knew what to expect when we set off for India but we loved our time here and were more than happy to return two years later with a small team of Aussie cyclists. We were talking about returning in 2010, around the time of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi but sadly that wasn’t to be.
The last time I saw Mark he had dropped in to my home capture some video for a project he was completing and we shared a Limca, the lemon lime drink that we enjoyed so much together in India. Several months earlier Pauline had found a shop nearby that imports Limca from India so when I knew that Mark was to visit I made sure there was some ice cold Limca in the fridge.
I’ve enjoyed plenty of Limca on this trip and it’s brought back memories of shared times. This afternoon I walked to a local shopping area. It’s a walk Mark and I had taken together many times. It felt weird walking on my own.
I’m finishing my time here catching up with some very dear friends and I just know the happiness it would have brought Mark and those here in India if he was here on this trip.
India has made a huge impact on me over the years and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t think of this country. Usually those thoughts centre around experiences that Mark and I shared. It’s not easy being here without him.
Mark was a true friend and thoughts of him are never far from my mind but this week those thoughts and memories have flooded my head.
One day I’ll take another trip, a more permanent trip, and I’ll catch up with Mark again.
I wonder if they serve Limca in Heaven.If you enjoyed this post please use the buttons above to share.