Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Why I Won't Write About India



I’m miles, and what feels like, years away from India, the place in which I struggled both physically and mentally to adjust, but can’t seem to stop thinking about. It almost doesn’t seem real, my time in a small village in Tamil Nadu, trying desperately to help the children to learn English letter sounds.

How do I begin to write about a period of my life that turned truth on its head and made me question every thought I had ever had?
How do I write about the intense highs and lows that would happen within minutes of each other? How do I write about all of the strong and beautiful people who became friends?
How do I return to a life of comfort and hot showers, cappuccinos and complexity? 
How do I write about it in a way that others will understand?

The answer is, I don't. At least I don't do it right now. I wouldn't do it justice. If you have been there yourself you know what I mean. If you haven't been yet, go and find your own India. 

I learned how to push through the challenges to find what I considered ‘my India.’ I found it in the quiet moments, the moments when India didn’t know I was watching. It’s easy to find the difficulty. It’s easy to find reasons not to do things. In the village, my survival depended on me pushing past what was hard, on seeing the beauty in the ordinary. I will continue to breathe a sigh of relief and smile when I see toilet paper in a bathroom. And I will stop and listen a little bit more to who and what is around me, finding the quiet simplicity in each day. I won't write blogs about weekend trips and local poverty. There's much more to the story than that. 

What this all boils down to is that I love India too much and want her all to myself.  So few places exist in this world that aren't touched by western tourism, but I was lucky enough to be invited into one. And that, my friends, is why I won't write about India.