What To Do

So I cried again, for the nth time since I first arrived in India. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t help it. India was being a bitch and like all other crazy bitches, she just doesn’t care. I have been wanting to write about what I truly felt about this country for weeks but just couldn’t find the appropriate words. So after browsing through the net and stumbling upon rows of blogs narrating their horror stories of India, I thought I might just as well get on the bandwagon and be done with it. All these negative emotions are building up and I obviously needed an avenue where I can vent them all out, or else I’m going to shoot myself.

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I have turned into a 31-year old cry baby! (and to think that I despised girls who cried a lot…)

I have been repeating the mantra ‘all is well’ to myself ever since I saw that movie entitled ‘The Three Idiots’ and now I wonder if I was the fourth idiot because so far, my attempts to embrace India have not been enough to compensate for the kind of depression that has been nagging me. Some days I wondered if there were other idiots out there. I would love to meet you fellow-idiots and just hang out.

You see, India (like all other countries) has a lot to offer. So far, in my 67 days (mind how I am still keeping track of the days), I have witnessed some portions of its beauty. There’s the Humayun’s Tomb, pink (yet orange) city of Jaipur, Udaipur’s City Palace, Rajasthan’s majestic landscape, Agra’s Red Fort – heck, I would even include Taj Mahal even though I was not quite impressed by it. There’s Rajdoot (my guardian angel stray dog), momos, tikki aloo, and Indian traditional tea. These are just to name a few of my happy poppers. I have met interesting characters too who have taught me the hard lesson of abandoning childish ways and becoming the bigger person (thank you).

the beauty of India

Beautiful India!

India is beautiful and I know that I still have hundreds of places to explore but there’s that ugly side of the coin that, in most times, leaves me throwing punches in the air. There were so many things that truly pissed me off which made it difficult for me to paint a rosy picture of India.

On sunnier days, I like to brand the ugly side as the ridiculous side of India, just to be more kind. Like how ridiculous it is for people to spit and expectorate everywhere; how ridiculous it is to see trash whichever side you turn to; how ridiculous the price tag for a single roll of toilet paper is; how ridiculous it is to haggle with auto drivers when they could just use the meter; how ridiculous it is to sell more tickets than seats on the train; how ridiculous it is when they push and shove when there’s a queue anyway; how ridiculous it is for free-loaders to dupe foreigners; how ridiculous it is for men to hoot, whistle, and disrespect foreign women (even though you have gone to great lengths not to attract attention).

the other side of India

The other side of India.

What’s even more ridiculous is the poverty screaming like a banshee with mansions on one side and dilapidated shacks on the other. And you know what else is ridiculous? Rape, dowry, women resigned to staying at home, girls not allowed to continue beyond the 12th level (lucky are those who even get to this level), children not learning because they were working, child brides, caste system, amongst others. The whole system is ridiculous. This list does not even include my work concerns (no need to discuss them here).

I understand that every country is entitled to its fair share of ridiculousness and I know that I’m supposed to remember that about the world, but this is too much. Even its own citizens would say it is too much and that is why there are so many aggressive initiatives to alter the system, protests to break generations of silence and apathy, awareness campaigns to wake people up. There is a movement happening in India and I’m caught in the route of change.

I’m at a point where I am trying to understand India. I’m at a point where I am re-evaluating old objectives and reasons for being here. My life here is definitely far from the kind of life I worked hard to earn in the past years. Do I really fit here? Maybe I don’t. Maybe I still cling to my comfort zone because I value it too much. Wouldn’t you too? (if you struggled to achieve it in the first place) But how can I not fit in here? I know these people and I know these kids. When I look at them, I see my reflection. I know how it felt like to be angry at the world, to feel abandoned, to work so you can go to school, to go to sleep with an acrid pain in your stomach and wake up with the same feeling, to beg relatives for help, to rebel, to cut yourself just to see if you still bleed, to be swayed by dangerous thugs to take the easy way out, to be repeatedly humiliated by the shame that your parents were branded with.

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I know this kind of life and maybe this is the reason it’s so difficult to appreciate my stay in India 100%. It reminded me of what life was like. (It was not entirely similar but the semblance is there.) But then, did I not change the course of my life? and worked hard to get to where I wanted? Did I not prove many people wrong? Maybe I should try this instead of focusing too much on the negative side of things. I should be stronger and find happiness in odd places; just continue believing. I know I won’t be able to change India but at least I can contribute to change. I will not do it for country, for love, nor for any of that kind of bullshit  — I’ll do it for myself because it will help me sleep better at night and I’ll do it for the kids because they deserve a chance at a better life. The same chance that was given to me many years ago.

Chalo!

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Comments

  1. Hey Den, whatever happens, always stay strong and do pray to be stronger for more challenges to come. As you mentioned, find happiness in those odd places. Stop trying and just go with the flow. Take it easy and stay safe always, ok? miss you!

    • thank you doiskie and thank you as well for sharing the entry! I know, I have to take it easy and learn to dance the dance they dance! and to think that I’m dancer!!! hahaha…i miss you too.

  2. found my way here through Doi and I maybe a stranger but *Huggggs* , may our embrace and warm thoughts gives you comfort. Be well.

    • you know what, its also the comment of strangers that sometimes leave you crying yet feeling stronger at times of difficulty…thank you so much for the kind words…i truly appreciate it..stay safe!

  3. Stay strong, Den. I’m rooting for you. I believe you can do it. Stay safe, pray, and keep your head up. xox

    • Hi kiss!!!!!!!!! thanks a million for this…when i feel like the world is about to end, my friends never fail me! Aja!

  4. I can’t believe I’ve not stumbled upon your blog earlier. I totally feel you and understand what you are going (or went) through. I’ve been stuck in that kind of dire situation, but somehow, things just fall into place. Take heart, Den.

    I love your blog. The candidness and honesty is so refreshing. Will definitely drop by more often. Cheers!

    • Hey thanks for dropping by Reiza. Yes, you’re right. Eventually things will fall into place. Courage, lots of it is the key. The courage to let go of things not meant for you and to take the strides towards something you were born to do. 🙂

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