Good bye, my dear India! Namaste!
Since I got to the airport in Delhi, this word has captivated my attention “Namaste”, but did not look for it too much. Through the days spent here, I’ve said and received so many “thank you” with a little bow and the hands held together, like for prayer, close to the heart position. That one I learned fast and became like a habit, but still Namaste was not revealed completely to me, till today, my last day of trip when I am gathering all the thoughts, feelings and experiences that I’ve lived in India, for the past 10 days. Many of my friends encouraged me not to miss the chance of coming to India, so I’ve committed to have pictures online and the first name for the album that arose, was “My India” and at a second thought, I was wondering, why did it came to me with this “My”, well, afterwards, all of the feelings unrevealed India as a personal self experience.
So, now I have more light within me and I am grateful to been able to have met this wonderful country. Compared to the other many travels that I’ve had, in Europe and USA, I would say, this one was the most fulfilling at many levels and it came to me, as a lesson and a response, when I need it.
I’ve had amazing moments here, encountered shock differences, like the huge contrast among garbage and poor improvised houses and great villas, with remarkable architecture all in the same area, even one next to the other. I’ve been to marvellous temples and mosques, I’ve been there, through the crowds of people seeking spirituality and conserving a deeper sense to life, than hedonism and most of all, keeping their tradition alive and not altered. This is deeper than I could express with my words, I’d need to talk a lot about it I’ve seen simple people and also people with higher schooling( deliberately omitted the word education, as education comes from home) and a sort of higher social rank, when considering income and they all have the family in centre of their lives: family first( friends are considered family also) then career.
I admired the traditional clothes on and on, every day. This is quite amazing, keeping this tradition of dressing with Saaris and Kurtis, no matter if rich or poor. I should also mention, that youngsters with more money would be in Malls and would dress in jeans& T-shirts and eat at Burger King just as any other westerner I guess it’s just a desire to get out of the traditional picture, as much as we didn’t want to dress in any folk/ethnic clothes when we were teenagers. The same conflict between generations.
I was mentioning the cult of family in India, keeping also the joint family houses. This is something unbeatable if you think of having traditions to ever last, it’s the easiest and most healthy way to keep transmitting from one generation to the other, the core values of the Indian culture. I also liked the fact that most of the people eat local, buy local and another surprise for me, they cook daily, like twice a day and everything is fresh. I understand that somehow it may come from a necessity, being a hot weather, but still, it keeps family sharing a meal together and connecting each other beyond the same worries of every person around the world( paying the bills, having a house, kids, education, work work work).
The sights are enormous, you can be stunned by dimensions, the numbers of workers, the speed of getting things done, the art of the details, the opulence. Beyond sightseeing, there are people that have the art of negotiation and communication in blood, so if they are sellers, they would invade your (so called) private space, showing you anything you could buy and creating a fantastic story for everything ( I guess this is Bollywood muse), at the restaurants they would serve you all you can eat and make sure you’re satisfied with all services, everybody would thank you and greet you, from doorman to cook. “The guest is like God” (Atithi Devo Bhava (Atithidevo Bhava, Sanskrit: अतिथिदेवो भव; English: ‘The guest is equivalent to God‘) is taken from an ancient Hindu scripture which became part of the “code of conduct” for Hindu society) as Rohit, an Indian friend taught me. Moreover, when you get closer and have talks over a cup of tea and interesting Indian dishes, you may feel as catching up with an old friend, making jokes and laughing and have the sentiment that you’ve known each other for a lifetime. This is the experience we’ve had and there are things unsaid that remain inside and maybe these bring us in a better version of ourself and would teach us to be better persons, more empathic, warmer, with more respect for tradition and different cultures, with a lust for good and enthusiastic curiosity.
I love the rainbow I feel about My India and I am confident I’ve discovered the meaning of Namaste!
Namaste, My India!