When I'm planning these international excursions, the first thing I do is search for and reach out to naturals in the area. Other than a strong desire to turn up with #OurPeople, it's just damn smart to roll with folks that know how to navigate whatever new and strange city you might find yourself in. That's one of the awesome things about holding a #TeamNatural card-- we're global and we ride for each other. So yeah, I Googled and searched and hunted and could find nary a natural haired Black woman in all of Southern India! Go figure. So I gave up, and wouldn't you know it, just when I decided we were on our own, I received an email from Nyasha! She wanted to let me know that she lives in Mumbai and would make herself available if I needed any advice or wanted to connect. You couldn't tell me nothing! I called her immediately and was delighted to learn that not only was she just a few miles away from us, but that she was down for dranks... that night! #IAmDelivert
And so we met at a fabulous hotel around 7:30pm and spent the next 5 hours gabbing away about everything-- her story, how she ended up in India, her experiences here as a Black woman, how we're both okay meeting up with strangers after one brief email, Ferguson, politics, religion... you name it. And then my phone started blowing up. I excused myself to take what was certainly an urgent call from Momma. She wanted to let me know that Grandma was being rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
She said that she was cognizant and talking big ish per usual, but she was very weak and her heart rate was crazy low. At that time they didn't know any more than I did. I told her I loved her and to keep me posted.
Stunned, I walked back over to Nyasha and hubby, and while they continued to talk, I sat quietly in my feelings, running worse case scenarios. When hubby asked what was going on, I reluctantly shared about the developing situation back in St. Louis, MO and began sorting out my feelings real time, in a crowded hotel lobby bar and absolutely lost it. Tears. The uncontrollable kind. I felt so bad for my new friend, having to console me (like an old friend would) and play it cool while I was making us even more of a spectacle with my ugly cry, but she was so sweet. We hugged, she shared some very kind words and we ended our evening together.
Later that night I received word that Grandma Maxine had just come out of surgery and was doing okay. When she arrived at the hospital they determined she was having a heart attack. Had she'd been in the city alone, rather than with my parents in Ferguson (they had her at the house because she was feeling under the weather), who knows what could've happened. Needless to say I haven't gotten any sleep, we're on the exact opposite end of time zones so I was up all night texting and checking in, and writing this post (my therapy). Later, my dad sent me this pic--
She's currently stable and resting and I can't wait to see her again!
p.s. I know y'all are curious :) Nyasha's story is coming soon! She's pretty amazing. #SuperNatural