As I entered the airport this evening, I felt somewhat of a relief, after the days I’d had. But I cannot say I’m running away from India. All I can say is that I’m ending or pausing India in a manner I won’t quickly forget. All the challenges that have been thrown at me since leaving Chennai, were just to remind me of all the contrasts that exist so closely along side each other. All the things that I appreciate in India, can be encountered and embraced on any journey “out there” in the chaos. And this is what I wanted. It doesn’t make me happier or sadder to leave. Instead, as I sit here in the airport and still have 7 hours to go before check-in, it makes me smile to look back on it all, not only today, but everything.
For just about 6 months I’ve been up and down and have wanted to embrace every aspect of this country. 6 months is not nearly enough. Not when I find myself walking around a city that is far from all the other cities that have become familiar to me, and I feel to be in another country (which is what happened today in Mumbai). Any traveller in India, either national or international, will say the same thing. Contrasts galore!
The friendly souls I met today, all asked me the same questions. First: “What do you love most about India?” My answer: “where do I start?”, and then they asked: “What would you change about India?” Again my answer: “where do I start?” It’s so true though. There is so much to love and so much not to! There’s so much to never change and so much to change! But seriously, what I love most about India is that everyday something happens to either inspire me, blow me away or bring up some kind of emotion (either good or bad). There’s always something that makes me question the way in which the world works, or the human race in general, or the Indian culture in specific or the lives that are lived at home. Always there is something, and be it good or bad, it’s what makes me love this place so much.
So really, when I answer the question: what would you change about India?”, then how can I say: “where do I start?”. Who am I to say that things should change? Instead, I’ve heard stories and have also witnessed, that India changes the people who choose to embrace all it has to offer. It does wonders to a soul, because of being amazing in it’s contrasts. ALL that it is, shouldn‘t change. Let India be India and in it’s natural state, let it do the work so effortlessly it has been doing for decades or centuries even; changing the lives of those who come here and who appreciate it fully. India is enriching people’s lives by showing those who are open to seeing; that the simplicity of life is far deeper, far more complex and far more amazing than one would expect. Such offerings this country has for every individual and I feel so privileged to have experienced a brief taster. I’m certain that I’ll be returning. How and when, I don’t know.
I cannot board a flight and leave India without feeling certain that I’ll be back. And I do. Somebody once told me: India is like a mother, always waiting for your return to embrace you with open arms. So I don’t shed tears, which I thought would be the case. Instead I express gratitude and feel fulfilled. This fulfilment is bound to last until it’s my time to return again. I cannot analyze too much more at this moment in time. My head will start to go wild, with trying to grasp the actual fact that I’m leaving. So as I sign off for now, I’m going to flow to Italy; which is something else I cannot quite grasp.. But; no more analyzing! Just simply living..