India Photo Diary
Our trip to India was so much more than we could have imagined. Not only did we get to make new friends, but we got a more real-life version of the cities we visited, as opposed to coming as regular tourists. My biggest takeaway is how similar we all are: what motivates us, what makes us happy and what we like doing as humans is pretty universal. In spite of being born 16,000 km (10,000 mi) away on the other side of the world and living in America, I found more similarities between us than differences. I couldn’t believe how alike we were, sharing everything from fashion blogging to a very sincere appreciation for coffee.
My other big picture takeaway (and I owe Nosheen this realization) was how skewed the view of an incredibly big and complex country is in the West. I mentioned the movie Lion (which I watched a few days before going to India) and after briefly summarizing the premise, Nosheen said that she didn’t like how most mainstream versions of India that go out into the world are so one-dimensional and how, beyond the social issues a movie like Slumdog Millionaire brings up, there is so much more to a country with such a vast history and rich mix of religions, cultures and ways of life. I reflected on most artistic or cultural products relative to India I knew of and realized that I was part of that blindness, but I felt enlightened having the opportunity to understand that from an Indian’s point of view.
As it usually happens, it is the people that make a place special. I am forever grateful to Pancham, Nosheen, Shruti and Sarthak for their company, conversations and for letting us see and be a part of their world, even if just for a few days. We’ll be back for sure.