“Go to India if you have never been before, it will change your perspective and allow you to appreciate and enjoy your life so much more”- If you would believe it these wise words were said by none other but me. While working in Ann Arbor, one of my friends from work once mentioned how hard his life had been and the hardships he and his mother had to endure to see him go to University of Michigan. It was not that he was mentioning something but kind of regretting the fact that he had to do so much more to get to the same point as some of his other peers were. At that point it immediately stuck me and I thought “Wow this is much better than 80% of the people in India. No matter people come back rejuvenated and clear in thought, thus terming their India experience as Spiritual cleansing”.
To substantiate my point, I told him how lucky he was to go to University of Michigan , while I who fluently can read , write and speak in 3 languages, perhaps scored better grades than him and whose mother had to live a much harder life of single parent in India , had no choice like U of M or for that matter any University remotely close to the privileges bestowed by University of Michigan . The competition is so severe and opportunities were so limited, that someone of this guy’s calibre would not have got 1/10th of what he currently had in USA. But then he had no perspective of people who had to struggle everyday to make their ends meet. Or he did not have to see that day in day out, everywhere around him.This is one thing that changes when you “Go To INDIA”, it gives you perspective of things, where you stand and how lucky or fortunate one is to have what they have. Hence I say “Go To India for Perspective”.
There were so many more reasons I could possibly think of that would contrast with the American lifestyle and which would have given him reasons to appreciate his life so much more. I categorically remember him mentioning that he grew up next to a crack house. While I sympathised with him, because as a kid I would always wish people to grow up in a safe and secured environment, but the fact that he could still go to U of M, amazed me and made me wonder about the evident lack of opportunities for those who grow up on streets and footpaths in India Tours With no access to shelter or even hope of it , and no food to live off and been put under pressure to earn , from as little as aged 4 years , one would never understand despair till you get to India. “Go To India to really understand what Despair is.”
In a country that has existed for years under a rigid caste-system , mocking all forms of equality as an alien notion, where there exists people who still are not allowed to drink water from the same well as an upper caste or where people still insist on marriage of their children within the same caste, where right of respect is drawn from position of strength in money, designation, age or numbers , experiencing the life as equals is the last thing one experiences in India. “Go To India to Understand Inequality”. because if you do not know what inequality is you will never be able to appreciate Equality.
By now my friend understood and was also very appreciative and grateful for his life in USA. However our conversation had stepped a notch up and we were more at a macro level where we were talking about the contrasting life in the two countries and what makes going to India so interesting and cleansing for people.India is such a contrasting land – where abundance and shortage exists at the same time. Travel in India will definitely acquaint you with both sides of the coin. There is abundance of culture and history, wealth, intellect and people, while there is evident lack of infrastructure, modern amenities for masses, healthcare, education, housing and lot more.
While the new found confidence of a growing economy promises to bring a change for the better, the weight of the country’s history and population is so heavy that only time will tell how India deals with the plethora of issues that still balks at an all encompassing development.In the end I would say Go to India, you don’t know what it might bring to you, for each one has its own experience to live and share. Although one thing that binds each and every traveller is the spirit of goodness and gratitude that one takes back from here.