Indian Guardian

DINISH (2 of 3).jpg
DINISH (1 of 3).jpg


 Photos & Video by Shay Spaniola // Text by Erica Wedes


 You will live a long life and your husband will curse.  

Is that bad?

Nah, they all curse.

-Din, while reading my palm

Day One at the Ashram: The sound of our clanking keyhole brought him to our door. We were locked inside. Finally he yanked the door open. Once open, we asked this friendly, round-faced man to look at the beehive outside of our window. Is it dangerous? We fretted. They will not hurt you, they will not enter, he said. Then he introduced himself as Din.

Our Indian guardian had the eyes and energy of my Papa.

Bin became our instant friend, inviting us for coffee after dinner he would say, You drink coffee at night so you can sleep well in the morning. He had a dry, biting sense of humor that aimed to be light the negative realities of life. Knock on the door when you want to have coffee, or if you need help. I am reliable, he said.

Our first night of coffee with Bin was a special evening. He made the coffee with a metal rod that heats up in a stainless steal canister. He poured the coffee packets into each of three miniature Styrofoam cups with intention, his fingers wrinkly and hairy. He added a bit of milk to each cup and one drop of sugar. Placed the cups onto a tray, pulled over the nightstand as a table, and told us to begin. He sat on the bed across from us.

We chatted about life - comparing American culture to Indian. Bin retold the story of his arranged marriage, and again that of his son. One son, one daughter, I have, and now they have one son, one daughter as well.  All the same, he said, shaking his head in a circle, the typical Indian way of saying Yeah.

Laughter and coffee left us buzzing in bed that night; the interaction left us grateful for our new neighbor friend.