This is my second trip to Mumbia and I am not looking forward to the heat and lack of adequate facilities in this Indian city. I hear the zoom of the engines as we vie for airspace on this transatlantic flight. My name is A.J. Moss one of the purchasing and product managers for a Canadian aerospace company. Upper management has decided to continue it's investigation into what seems a superior brass hex nut that was used in the fighter plane "the Gnat".
I am thumbing through a flashy magazine and see that Akon has arrived in New Delhi for a concert. His song 'I'm coming ova'(sic) is gaining ground on the Indian pop charts. I think to myself "ya suck" and toss the mag back into the pocket in the seat. Time to think. Need a plan of action and a way to get the ideas in my head in line with what the company is looking for. I slip off to sleep with visions of India seeding my dreams.
What seemed just a bit later I wake up in daze. My mind seems to be playing tricks on me. Maybe I should not have had that last gin and tonic... The pilot announces that we are preparing to land. How long did I sleep ? I get through customs and look for my regular driver Mr Mehra who was to meet me at the airport. Not seeing him there was raising the ire of my already foggy disposition. A man in a faded jute dhoti came over to me and said he was sent by Mr Mehra to pick me up in the auto rickshaw he pointed at. I did not know what to do. My mode of travel in India at the last trip was always in a regular cab. Certainly not in one of those rough rickshaws. Do I try to call a cab or do I trust this man Amir as he called himself. I step into the auto rickshaw.
Traffic in this city is chaotic. Amir maneuvered around as best he could. All of a sudden we were side swiped by a cab ( of the like I should have been travelling in) I had a deep gash in my brow. Amir was frantic and had some of his friends take me to a healer a few blocks away. I had to duck my head to enter the door which had a tigers head carved on it. After my eye's adjusted to the dim light I looked in awe at all the beautiful Hindu art that covered the walls and ceiling.
Sitting on a stool was this old shaman with dread locked hair down to his waist. He was wearing little but a small dhoti and garlands of flowers around his neck. Amir spoke to him in his dialect and the healer whose name I found out was Buti stood and looked at my bleeding head. After a few minutes of chanting he said he could rid me of the injury. Buti immediately started gathering an assortment of herbs powders and figs which he beat in a small tin bowl. He told me he would slather this potion on my brow with special prayers and all would be well in my life. As he worked on my brow he chanted. I left feeling much better and the gash on my head was barely visible. Amir quickly took me to the hotel where I rested as per shaman's orders. I was filled with wonder at this new old side of India that I had not experienced before.
The next day was my meeting with Rhohit Shah the CEO of the plant. I'm not sure what happened to my head yesterday but it was exploding with grand schemes and my proposal was greeted with enthusiasm. A done deal was made. The bump on the head must have helped or was it something else...