Greens and Reds06 Jan 2009, by Uncategorized in
I thought I would post some random thoughts about India for you so here you go…in honor of TBS I’ll do it in Greens and Reds (LOL).
Greens of India:
• Indian Culture – The food here is so amazing you cant even imagine. I’m surprised at how healthy I’m eating and I’m not having any issues finding something I like. For those of you that know me well you know that’s incredible since I’m the pickiest eater in the world. The music is something I have always loved but never listened to as much as I am here so it has grown on me even more. It’s so high energy. Even when they do a ballad they are still full of energy and passion. Then there is Bollywood! I know it’s sort of a punchline in the states but since I’ve been here I’m really loving their films. As with everything in Indian culture they are so epic and have so many different influences and genres mixed together in the same film it’s like you’re watching 5 films in one. We are totally digging it.
• The Indian People: WOW! I am floored by how accommodating, pleasant, nice, and welcoming everyone is here. We’ve had people come up to us in restaurants and just start chatting us up just because they’re curious. Some speak English but not all and it really doesn’t matter. If people looking as different as we are to them came to the states they would be shunned and judged by many in our country. Most Americans certainly would’nt strike up a random conversation with them just to see who they are and why they are here. I’m not naive to think "bad" people don’t exist here but I’m not seeing them. Truly some of the nicest people I have ever met. They know how to treat you with dignity and respect and kindness and I will always remember that and take it with me.
• Pollution: In the last week I must have coughed up a pound of black chunks (I know very disgusting but the reality). The Pollution here is so thick you mistake it for fog. With 16 million people it’s no surprise it has this problem but I wonder about the people that live here and the rate of respiratory problems experienced by them. Never seen anything like it.
• Traffic: Again…16 million people, which means ALOT of cars, buses, rickshaws, trucks etc. Rush hour here is worse than LA, NY and DC COMBINED! Think about that one for a minute. However, despite this I must say I LOVE riding in the front seat of the taxi. It’s the most harrowing, exhilarating thing. They drive like NY cabbies jacked up on crack, speed and 100 Lattes. They drive using echo location and all you here are horns and all you see are people, animals and cars coming within inches of getting hit.
Some on the team get really scared and cant even look at where the cab is going. I say hell with it. Just grab something and go for it. If something happens it really doesnt matter where youre sitting and no there are no seatbelts. Same with the buses. The image of buses you may have seen with people piled all in , on top, and hanging out the side is true. Craziest thing ever. We’ve rode the bus several times and I love it. The buses are like art treasures on wheels. They gave great designs and colors and are made mostly of wood. Also women and men have to sit on opposite sides. Very interesting experience. (Okay mom’s you can start breathing again…dont freak we are being careful.) I’ve taken videos while sitting in the front so you can all see what it’s like. Cant wait to post it.
The other thing is the EXTREME poverty. Every street is lined with mud/stick huts where full families live and work. They are so unbelievably tragic and heartbreaking. I’ve seen little babies walking around barefoot in streets filled with stuff I cant even describe and you cant even imagine. I see kids playing in trash dumps, getting water from places I would’nt go near with a biohazard suit and eating things that are not appetizing at all to put it mildly. It’s so depressing to see all this and not be able to wave a magic wand and fix it for them.
Then there is the animal situation. As you all know I love all animals as much as people (and depending on the person even more – lol). It’ s very hard for me to see the condition of these animals while at the same time knowing there is no help coming for them in any shape or form. They are truly alone and in agony. With the people in the position they are in you cant expect the animals to be in good shape, but it’s still hard….very, very hard. All these images will never leave me and all I can do is take them and use them to keep me going and focused. That’s really all you can do. I have pics/videos of it all and you will see.
So today when you drink clean water, feed your child good healthy food, and come home from work to your big house or apartment, think about that. You are so incredibly lucky and fortunate you just cant even imagine. The only reason your there and not here is luck of the draw. It’s that simple. Dont you even dare forget it and dont take anything in your life for granted. No matter how small or mundane.
I’ll leave you with some words from a child survivor of trafficking we met yesterday. She was telling the translator about her ordeal and she said, "Sister, you have no idea how they tortured us".
Don’t ever forget it.