Friday, May 22, 2015

"How was India?" The impossible question

It has been one week since our semester ended in India. It was very emotional the few days leading up to the last day and many tears were shed the final day when we all gathered in a circle filled with love and gratitude.

The question that I've gotten the most after this semester (and that I foresee myself having to answer many times in the future) is, "how was India?" And every time I am silenced wondering what to say. We spent 3 and a half months in a country that is as different as you can get it and I am faced with the impossible task of summarizing such a time. How?

Do I bring up the incredible things we learned in and outside the classroom? Do I talk about how amazing the food and chay(tea) is? Or how seeing Taj Mahal left me in awe and the ghats by the Ganga River made me reflect on life and death? Do I bring up that there are tons of people doing incredible work everyday, like the teacher I met at Kiran center, a school for differently abled children. A single teacher who has children with hearing disabilities, mental disability, physical disability and children with no disabilities- all in one class! Do I describe all the ironies of this country, like the fact that Indian's invented the world's first flush toilet 5000 years ago but that today 53% if India's population defecates in the open? Or how dirty some places are and the amounts of trash there is in the streets? Or how I learned about waste and now can't buy things without realizing the amount of trash I am contributing to? Do I describe how open and hospitable the people I met along the journey were and how I am thankful to each person? Do I talk about how my fellow students and the staff of this SIT program are the most incredible people and how we all learned from each other? Can I bring up that I loved this place but felt great sadness as well?

And these things aren't nearly enough to explain, "how was India?" In trying to describe my time it is impossible to not give the wrong impression or paint a picture that is not true to the real India. There is so much more to this place then can be put into words and I find that trying to explain it, I loose some of it for what it really is in my mind, my heart and soul.

To India I would like to say: you have taught me so many things, but most of all, thank you for opening my eyes, mind and heart. Thank you for showing me how much love there is in the world and how the world needs more awake human beings.

People used to take from nature what they needed and knew to give it back. Today we live in a consumer world where we don't even think twice about giving back to nature all that she has provided for us.

I think it is about time we wake up from our little bubble and give back.

May I each and everyday through mindful actions show that I care for Mother Earth. Even though I won't be able to give back all that I have used in my lifetime, hopefully I can give back as much as possible.

From the deepest of my being,

thank you to everyone and everything that was part of this journey.


1 comment:

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