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Iman

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man is an Indian man in his forties, he’s been a Director of Photography for many years and for many Bollywood films and lives in Australia, only comes to India for work. We were offered lunch in the office lunch room, we sat with Iman. He was very serious, only focused on his food. Half way through our meal which consisted of delicious curry, of course, he looked up from his plate and started asking us questions.

“So, where are you staying?” “Well” I said, “at a hotel, not sure where…but it’s pretty moldy” He was silent for a moment. “You should find a hotel you like, then just send them the bill…” “Listen to me, you have to be able to leave today if you don’t get exactly what you want. These people are not nice when it comes to negotiating.”

Troy was a little uncomfortable with the comment. I stayed quiet.

“If you want, I can take you to see some more hotels, some nicer hotels, just let me know”

Troy and I looked at each other and he said; “Yes, you should go while I stay here working”

Iman and I got on a rickshaw, he drove. We went to a few hotels around town and finally ended up at the “Executive Enclave” the only place that didn’t smell like mold and it was only 50 dollars a night. It also offered telephone booths and Internet service. It was a shining marble building in the middle of a slum.

So that very day we moved out of the mold motel and into the marble palace. Night came and I realized my parents didn’t know where in the world I was, literally. I laughed out loud at the idea that for the first time in my life, I had made a decision all by myself. It felt great. So I head out to the phone booth to make the imminent call to my Dad. I was nervous, sweating but that was because it was so humid I’m sure. I was mad at my Mom anyway so she was just getting an email, but I grew up with my Father so he was the important umbilical cord to sever. And this was the severing trip. He was overprotective of me, being his only daughter and all. But in the end I was sure he’d have to understand. And if he didn’t, well... Oops. I was already halfway around the world.

So the phone booth was semi private, I basically had to sit beside another guy from Africa who was talking to his mother it seemed. I was worried about what kind of conversation I’d have. Would it be easy to just say, “Oh yeah, I’m in India Dad…” Or would I choke and lie out of fear? You have to understand my father is a quite the intimidating character. I was always afraid he would be so mad at me, he wouldn’t love me anymore. My biggest fear from childhood, now had to be faced and accepted. I had to break free from being a child and finally take the step into adulthood. And that invariably means disappointing your parents in some way. I had to take that key from under my Dad’s pillow like in …..John.