Transformational Trip to India
A moment lived in India by Simon, a traveler from United Kingdom
This was my first trip to India and in fact, outside of Europe and the US. A true westerner! I had no idea what to expect, although I did know that I’d be embarking on a new adventure into a completely new world. I was right. I was visiting for a week for a friends’ wedding and had no idea what to expect from one of India’s upcoming cities.
It took me some time to get used to such different conditions, lifestyle and standards of living. Rich living in the pockets of the poor, poor living in the backyards of the rich. Dust & pollution almost completely blocking out the power of the sun, which I’m used to being so bright it burns my face. Roads that are as chaotic as life at 8am in the London underground. Thinking twice about drinking water from a tap. These are just a few things I had to get used to in India during the first few days…
The moment I was to highlight however was short, and yet it is permanently etched on my memory. A moment that has changed how I see the world, forever. This moment is about being humble. Appreciating life for what really matters, and enjoying each and every moment with those you care about and love. It’s about not being afraid of difference, in fact, it’s about embracing difference and learning from it. Something The West, especially in times when Presidents like Trump reign, can learn so much from….
I was with some friends boarding a boat to the Buddha Statue across the Hussain Sagar lake. The journey was around 15 minutes. As we left the port, I saw on the boat with us a group of school children with their teacher, who were singing and dancing, celebrating like they had won the world cup. They approached us all with warm, curious hearts, asking us where we were from, why we were here and taking photos with us. They were so delighted to have met westerners, we were the first white people they had met. I was overwhelmed with the innocence and trusting approach of these kids. The teacher was, in fact, the ring leader of the chants and songs. So different to my school days, being told to be quiet on school trips and behave. These kids were encouraged to express themselves, and it was clear how much they respected their teacher as a result. It was so refreshing to see children approaching difference with positive intent, warmth and not fearful of difference. Despite being financially poor they were incredibly rich in energy and lust for life.
Here is a video of this moment, enjoy :)