I went for a walk today. This is perhaps my favorite activity in India. My family and friends are so far away, still sleeping at the moment. So I walk alone.

It is hot. It is always hot in Chennai. My fair skin prepares for the scorching which the sun will undoubtably provide. My feet burn hot on the pavement. So here I am, a solitary traveler burning in the mid-day heat. I look for my friend Jack.

He always comes to me. Or, perhaps more accurately, I come to him. As I turn from street to street, dodging taxis, dogs, people and bikes, I inevitably will see him and my entire body will respond with gratitude. Entire sections of the road are shaded with Jacaranda trees on each side. Ah! Jack is here, providing a brief respite from the sun.

Yes, Jack is more than a tree. He is a true friend. For only a friend will give expecting nothing in return. Only a friend will absorb the heat with you, sheltering you whenever possible.

My walks are always amazing. Amazing sites await at each turn. Amazing people introduce themselves and ask where I am from. But all this is made more enjoyable by my amazing friend Jack.


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