I’ve been dreading (and avoiding) writing this final blog entry.
How can I possibly summarize and give finality to a year that has so altered my life? When Daniel and I decided to move to India it was a leap of faith – a leap to a place where I’d never been; a leap to leave my job and take an unconventional turn; a leap to live in a place where everyone I loved would be thousands and thousands of miles away.
I’ve always been a person who benefited most from taking the road less traveled. It’s been a bit of a life motto really: Go forth. But India is different – it grabs hold of you and changes you, taking grasp of every sense and every notion you ever had and turning it upside-down.
I’m most grateful that we got to live in India at this particular moment in time. Mumbai in the 21st century is old and new all at once. I got to spend time with women in slums whose experiences are shockingly medieval. On the other hand, I got to see some of the same women fighting for rights like women in the West did a generation ago. I saw corruption and caste influence situations right alongside technology and entrepreneurialism and a hunger for change. Skyscrapers and highways brush up against bungalows and rickshaws and slums. It’s a fascinating era to experience – it’s all changing so rapidly that we got to see it as it was and as it will be. There’s no better time to be in India and I’m a bit shocked by how quickly the time went by.
It all went so fast that it’s hard now to even remember what it felt like to arrive; I’m a bit in awe over how normal it all became. The insanity of the roads, the glaring disparities, the tropical vegetation, the color, the otherness and the dirt all somehow started eventually seeming normal. That’s the joy of living somewhere new – even the strangest and most opposite place in the world can feel like home. We made incredible friends and met the most wonderful and bizarre and entertaining group of people I could have encountered in a year, both in Mumbai and out.
So there’s no point summarizing. And luckily, I have this blog and I’ll never have to. But if the blog has to end and if I am indeed back in the US (it keeps feeling like I’m about to board a plane from this short vacation and return to my “home” in India), then I guess I can impart one piece of advice to the wonderful people who have read this blog and commented and shared in my ups and downs: take your own leap. No one ever regrets the things they did. You might only regret the gora tax you paid on your Alphonso mangos. It’s worth it.