A pilgrimage to love

He arrived at the wrong address at the right time and his pride was ruffled slightly when we told him as much. A middle-aged Indian, he had come for some maintenance on our house and loosened up when he realised his office had given him the wrong address.

As he worked, we began to chat and I asked why he had made the  trek from India to New Zealand.

“I followed the woman I loved” he said, probably something you’d never hear a Bloke say. That version might be: “Kinda liked this sheila. Yeah. Gave it a go eh? Worked out okay… “. But back to the Indian.

“My father was arranging a marriage. But I didn’t want that. Mum knew, so one day she took me aside and gave me some money. ‘Just slip away quietly'”.  And so he did, although it couldn’t have pleased his  father.

He left behind his parents and his brother who married and had two  children – both daughters.

In New Zealand though, the pilgrim lover had a son – and his father took on an early flight to the country.

“Boys” he explained. “They are really valued in India”.

And then, job  over, the man who’d found contentment with his old flame in a new country, was gone.

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Paul Smith

Paul is a veteran journalist, non-fiction author and writing mentor. He has also served on boards ranging from TVNZ to UNESCO.