Friday, March 28, 2008


I've struggled now for 5 weeks to explain what it is like here in Delhi. But last night I think I stumbled upon something that works. At advice of a friend I've been reading "Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure" written by an Australian woman about her time here. The book itself is hilarious, but even more so if you are going through similar culture shocks as you are reading it.

I believe she defined India better than I will every be able to:

India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It's rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful and smart but stupid. It's all the extremes. India defies understanding, and for once, for me, that's okay.

She continues, and in a short paragraph brilliantly expresses how I feel after my experiences not just here, but after the last couple of years living abroad:

In Australia, in my small pocket of my own isolated country, I felt like I understood my world and myself, but now, I'm actually embracing not knowing and I'm questioning much of what I thought I did know. I kind of like being confused, wrestling with contradictions, and not having to wrap up issues in a minute before a commercial break. While the journalist in me is still curious about the world, I'm still not really missing the way my old job confined my perceptions of life. My confinement here is different - I'm trapped by heat and by a never-ending series of juxtapositions. India is in some ways like a fun house hall of mirrors where I can see both sides of each contradiction sharply and there's no easy escape to understanding.

I hope as my adventures continue that I will continue to question who I am and my purpose and place in the world. I believe that constant re-examination will help me become a better human. Pin It


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