Remember that old Pat Boone movie with treacley sound-track, State Fair? “Our State Fair is a great state fair; don’t miss it; don’t even be late…”

What a surprising flashback in the midst of a church fair in Nagpur. But there I was with a mint samosa in one hand, mutton tikka in the other, nostrils seared by cumin and curry, surrounded by sparkling saris, humming “State Fair.”  I harkened back to the Midwest and Pat’s chaste kiss on the Ferris wheel. His white, buck shoes; his clean, brown hair. Her circle skirts and pink, cotton candy. Scrubbed cattle and apple pie.  Aunt Bea wasn’t in the movie, but I slid her in on the rewind.

What was I doing here anyway?

When I wore circle skirts, I had absolutely no clue I would ever cross the US border, much less live in India and Italy. The promise of those by-gone days was sufficient. Fall in love, get married, have kids, take them to the state fair.  So I fell in love, got married, had kids, took them to the state fair — and got divorced. That was not in the script.

Maybe that’s what I’m doing here anyway – kick me out of one drama and I’ll go find another one.

The music stopped. That god-awful Indian music blaring from loud speakers was silenced thanks to a power failure. Humming “State Fair” was a defense tactic, that’s all, not an overture to introspection. I wandered over to the Ferris wheel. It looked like someone had welded it together without reading the instructions. The camel looked healthy, so I rode it instead.


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