It’s been a little over three months since I’ve been in India. Writing has
been difficult, perhaps because, after the daily intensity, I always end
the day lying in my bed with multiple thoughts in my head. Sometimes, I
would like to leave my mind blank, concentrating the universe in one
The first week we were together with the group in a place far from the
centre of Pune. It was a safe space, where we got to know each other and
the GCY team introduced us to what this experience would be like. We had
the opportunity to reflect, meditate and share opinions. Halfway through
the week, they took us to one of the main streets of the city, for the
first time in the streets of Pune. As soon as the bus approached the road I
felt the charged air and I heard the traffic noise. It was scary. I had
never seen anything similar before. It gave me a little fear and curiosity.
Would he be able to live autonomously in a city like this? Without asking
permission, the uncertainty began to attack. When we got off the bus, new
unknowns appeared. Acts as every day as crossing the street were a
challenge in which I felt that my life was in danger. Exaggerated or not, I
felt a zoo in my stomach every time I saw a motorcycle approaching me. A
few days later, we finally abandoned CDSA, and we had to prepare our bags
to meet our host families. After an abrupt change of host-family at the end
of the first week, I installed myself with my current host family.
All this happened in September. Time flies. This is a sudden thought that
sometimes surprises me.
I have been in India for three months, and this experience has become
intense. It may be useful to make a superficial summary of my months in
India. Yes, sometimes superficiality can be useful.
‘Begin to open your eyes.’
September was a month of discovery, accepting changes I did not expect, and
beginning to understand the Punekar (people of Pune). Despite the language
barrier, I realized that the people here are direct, a little abrupt to say
certain things, and also somewhat unpunctual. Strong. I have always
considered myself a direct and frontal person, and I have realized that
sometimes it can be brutal. Although in spite of everything, you always
find someone who will smile on the street and many people willing to help.
With the passing of days, I also began to recognize the rhythm of life
here. Rhythm? An arrhythmic rhythm. The time in India is something
completely crazy … every day I am more convinced that time is a human
invention, and that it is felt and lived in different ways in each place.
September was a month of discovery. To walk new streets, to perceive
strange aromas, to look with new eyes. There were times when I got lost
(interpret ‘lost’ as you want) and I was afraid. When I went for a walk, I
tried to recognize the prejudices they had told me and every time these
stereotypes were not met, I was frustrated. Then, I understood that I
should start looking with love and curiosity. New flavours, new aromas, new
thoughts, new noises. The change of family was good for me. With slowness
and some fears, I learned to walk in Pune (although it is a constant
‘India a country of contradictions’
Pune became a sea of contradictions that I tried to process in my mind. In
October more activities began to take place during the day, such as working
at the school. During this time I tried to recognize myself in the
classroom until I found the position that most suited me … that of a
student. It is definitely easier to be a student than a teacher. I admire
the work of educators. I feel that as a student I can approach the students
and try to guide them from the understanding. It is difficult to maintain
control of 64 students in a room. And the truth is that you rarely manage
to control the emotion of a shout, a jump, or a push among the students.
This makes me happy because I see that the nature of the human is that ..
try to escape from the room. Maybe it’s good to rethink the education
system? Probably. Although at the same time, I recognize the effort that
teachers put into trying to discipline students with the hope of a good
future for them.
In each of my adventures in India, I noticed many internal contradictions.
I did not know if I should go or stay, to get away or to approach, to run
or to sit down in the fears. Little by little the concept of
‘contradictions’ was transformed into ‘contrasts’. The contrast of colours,
forms of life, thoughts, perspectives that I have seen here provoked me
internal contradictions at all levels; physical, emotional and spiritual
… and, I began to feel a deep need to find myself – but who should I
find? There was such a permanent subject called Emiliana?
In November I fell in love with a boy who rides barefoot on a bicycle
selling balloons. It seemed that he did not mind selling the balloons, and
yet he enjoyed the breeze that caressed his face. I called him by making a
strange sound and we smiled at each other. Gipsy soul, falling in love was
never so easy. After a few minutes, he disappeared into the crowd.
November was a slightly nostalgic month. I tried to recover from the
contrasts I saw in the reflection. The city behaved like a mirror, and at
the same time, the city was still walking, completely indifferent to my
personal processes. In the middle of the month, DIWALI took place, “The
festival of lights”. India looked beautiful, and it was encouraging to see
people decorating their houses. In Diwali, we had 20 days of vacation
(without school), useful time to rest and rethink things.
Undoubtedly, this experience has been intense, full of learning and
contrasts. Perhaps it is inevitable not to suffer for what is not
understood however, I think it is possible to find life and hope in every
single small action. My mind keeps spinning tonight, and my heart wandering
around. But, at the end of the day I am grateful to have the opportunity to
observe and learn so much every day.
Wonder holds me as I look upon this- Homer
Gracias por leer.