It's been a hectic, rich, bizarre, jarring, surprising, beautiful, exciting, fun and adventurous experience. The wonderful people of India have been by and large very graceous, generous and kind. India you have taught me something, I'm not exactly sure what; at the very least you have shown me patience and acceptance, shown me a totally different way of living, shown me a side of the world that is as far from home geographically as it is in its everday way of life. India, I'll miss your loud, raucous, ceaceless energy and vitality, the constant bargaining for a fair price, the slightly overly excitable shop keepers, the squeezing through the thick thrum of unbridled traffic on some rickety two wheel transport, the cows carelessly walking among the ordered chaos, the vast peaks of the north stretching toward the heavens as if promising the way to enlightenment, and the precarious waves of the south lapping on your sandy shores cautioning a reminder of humility and respect.
But I have to say I am very happy to be home. I arrived home last night in the wee hours of the morning courtesy of the lovely Maya (friend of Nori's) who picked Nori and I up at the airport and drove us all the way to the Berkshires. Upon setting foot inside my cozy home I immediately remembered that there's no place like home. Expecially when you've been in a place like India for four months! I haven't felt so reflective, so caught in time, the past and future suddenly pop into focus; what just happened? I feel like I just stepped out of another place and time... a strange, surreal dream where I was caught in a whirlwind that never let me down until suddenly I'm back in the Shire, on U.S. soil; so peaceful and contemplative; suddenly I feel something's changed; something in me or how I see the world or both. India's taught me something. It's changed my mind; it's changed my point of view; it's shown me a much more complete picture of the world. And in doing so it's quietly asked something of me. It's given me something I didn't have before. It's armed me for the next unknown step in my life with its vicarious wisdom that is breathed and lived in every day of Indian life through its rich and vibrant culture and traditions that is the backbone of its ancient soul that is still very much of and rooted in the earth. I see so clearly the juxtaposition of two very contrasting perspectives; two alien lifestyles, two separate philisophical world attitudes and approaches whose paths, on one hand, have begun to meet and cross in various aspects of life, but on the other more interesting side are still vastly disperate and far removed and ignorant of each other; two worlds apart.
Being home immediately puts things into powerful perspective. It's amazing how for granted the things of a modern society are taken; of a home: with so much space and peace and quiet beauty. I realize how truly precious this is and how it is very hard to find in India in the same capacity. The home itself, its familiar smell, its constant unchanged features, inside and outside, perhaps give more comfort and sense of welcoming home and security than the people that have lived there, for they change and grow and move on while home will remain after the people who called it home have gone.