The first time I travelled to India, after my grandfather died and I wanted to know more about my family, where my grandfather was from and where my mom had lived as a child, my extended family showed me such hospitality and kindness. The day before I left to fly home, my mothers cousin, Hiru (my first cousin once removed?), gave me this brass elephant as a keepsake of my journey - to remember my time in India. I have always treasured it and thought of my family and that first adventure in India whenever I see it on my bookshelf. When I returned to India last November, Hiru had me and Ryan (my travel buddy) over to his house for dinner before we left on our travels South, making sure we got to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus safely while there was unrest on the streets and organized a family get together when I returned at the end of my trip.
Hiru Malkani died today, may he rest in peace. He was an intrepid traveller, a family man, and and all around great guy. I will always remember his kindness when I see this elephant and whenever think of my time in Bombay.