Yet again India has been my teacher.
We have finally finished our documentaries (well at least the rough cut), and the experience was something I will never forget. I met so many wonderful people who touched my heart with their generosity, kindness, curiosity, and happiness. When I look back on my time here in India I will always remember the expression that each child seemed to share. It is the kind of expression that exudes innocence, and radiates hope eminating a gentle soul, which hides behind sleepy eyes and an incandescent smile. These are the characteristics I will remember when I think back to the children of Abhyudaya. Yet each child, though familiar with their heartwarming expressions, had his or her own story to tell. One child whom I will never forget played a leading role in our documentary. Her name is Swati and she is 15. She has big brown eyes, and an even bigger attitude. She reminds me of my younger sister because although she is young she commands attention. Every minute I spent with her I was so intrigued, and even a little intimidated. She has so much passion for life, and she doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do. I know that she is going to grow up, and do something amazing because she is so strong and independent. I wish I could be as brave as she is. It is often very hard to stand up for yourself or say what you really mean, but Swati does it fearlessly. As much as she might have learned from me, I know that I have learned twice as much from her. The next time I come back to India (because I am definitely coming back) I will look Swati up and I am sure I will find her running her own interior design company, telling her husband what to do, and throwing an elaborate wedding for her sister just like she had told me she dreams of doing. Swati’s courage and strength are traits I hope to learn, and plan to work on emulating starting right now.
The expressions that I see in India, which are so beautiful they can only belong to the magnificent people of this colorful country, are not the only thing that every Indian has in common. There are so many unique and wonderful things about the people here, that I unfortunately was not blessed with. My dirty blonde hair, small blue eyes, and ghost like complexion make blending in a far away dream in some alternate universe. However, even though I do get stares now and again, I do not feel like an outsider. I almost feel like I fit in better with everyone in India than I do in America. People here are so simple. They just live their lives, day to day, and go along with whatever a particular day has in store for them. This easy going attitude also fosters an unimaginable curiosity, and I am lucky enough to intrigue that curiosity. I have been so welcomed here that it is going to be extremely difficult to say goodbye. I know that when I get back to America I will not be welcomed the way that I have been here. I will miss all the little moments of joy each day brought me when I go home in three days because even though I am a foreigner – I feel as if I have known India, and it’s people, my entire life.
I love you India, and I will never forget the beautiful faces who made my three weeks here so extraordinarily magnificent.