It’s kind of surreal to think that two weeks ago I was living carefree – no Trump – nearly 8,000 miles away in India. If I were to describe my time in India with two words, it would be too short [see what I did there?]. When people ask me about my trip, I struggle to find a place to start: should I talk about the awesome 500 caves we visited, or the monkeys that stole Fjordi’s naan; should I talk about the bougie hotels, or the fact that the only Indians in them were the workers; should I talk about the beautiful, expensive houses in the streets of Mumbai, or the polluted slums on the opposite side?
At first, I was struck by how much it reminded me of home [Guyana for those who don’t know], yet it was distinct; India had its own uniqueness. I felt like I was transported back to being a 12-year-old kid again. However, it was weird because I was not living that reality but just witnessing it from a different perspective. Being back in the US, I couldn’t help but think about the little things we take for granted, like clean water [or at least water clean enough for us to drink] and WiFi. Even though there were poverty and pollution on every corner, there was this sense of liveliness in the streets. Everywhere you turn a different scent catches your nose: food, food and more food! The streets are loud: people talking, music playing, cars honking, a lot of cars honking [and a rickshaw waiting to hit you]. Man, I miss India!
There would have been no India trip without the amazing caves we visited. Magnificent and grand, worthy of the experience; the pictures do not tell the whole story. My favorite site being [sorry Elephanta] the Kailasanatha Temple at Ellora. Visiting this temple with a mass of people, chatter, laughter and screams engulfing the structure was truly awesome! I didn’t think this place could get any better, but then we hiked to view the temple from above. *Jaw Drops*
Just as how one picture does not give the complete story of Kailasanatha, only talking about caves would not paint a complete picture of Mumbai/Aurangabad. All of the different elements combined to make the experience truly unforgettable. Also, I will never forget being lost in Mumbai with Mykel and Enrique…good times!
Visiting India was one of the most exciting and humbling experiences I have had as a part of the Colgate community, and I am grateful that I shared that experience with my SRS class. Thank you, Professor Kaimal!