Excerpt: While in India, I visited temples, mosques, and even attended a service with our driver at his Gurudwara. I got to speak Hindi, Gujarati, Kutchi, and of course, English — which many people were just as excited to practice speaking with me as I was excited to practice their languages with them. Random people asked me for selfies — from a teenage girl who wanted to post me on Instagram as her foreign friend, to university boys looking to invent a fictionalized girlfriend on Facebook. I drank chai every morning. I bought saris at every price range. I ate every kind of curry imaginable.
I loved my first visit to the motherland. Even as an NRI — a non-resident Indian — I felt a sense of warmth that amounted to more than the sunny February weather. I feel so lucky that I got to experience India for the first time with so much happiness and love, in no small part because of the people I encountered there.
There was a part of it, too, where I felt like India invited me to just be myself. I got to leave behind a certain kind of self-consciousness, and celebrate a different side of myself. Whether discovering the nerve to cross against traffic, finding the bravery to communicate in a language that isn’t effortless, or growing the spine needed to drive a hard bargain, I embraced new characteristics in myself that I would have thought to be antithetical to my personality. In India, they just felt natural.
Read more: http://zenventur.es/2017/india-travel-diary/
Zen is a Toronto-based writer, freelancer, and multidisciplinary adventurer.
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