Goodbye India…

India you loved me, you hated me, you fed me, you starved me, you clothed me, you stripped me of my expectations, you shocked me, you gave me a gentle peace, you shared your stories with me, you gossiped behind my back, you kept me separate from you and you took me in as one of your own…

India you clarified, confused, challenged and helped me to better understand me, my hopes, my prejudices, my way of seeing the world … You gave me many opportunities to think twice, notice the subtleties and consider a different way to react and to be…

I see you differently than before I arrived … not better, not worse just more truly, more humanly, less naively.

Goodbye India … don’t forget me, I will never be able to forget you …you are now a part of who I am.

I’ll see you again … some day …but for now, I will carry you in my heart …

(And no I’m not back in the states … my next post – South Africa…)

One affects another

I can’t even tell you how many things I couldn’t see when I first got here in India. Then over time my eyes began to adjust to the environment, I began to see new things. Similar to taking a different route home from work or walking somewhere instead of driving, the view changes and details begin to emerge; you begin to see what has been staring you in the face all along.

I needed it pointed out, but now I see it everywhere, the ugly rather unsettling face…

And once you see it you see it everywhere. In construction lots,

In front of the Dealership

This face is to ward off the evil eye. It looks evil and ugly; and I guess that is sort of the point, it disrupts the evil, envious or overly doting gaze that causes bad things to happen… or so it is thought.

Some will call it superstition, but I think that there is some truth lurking in the evil eye at least within the widely held Indian understanding…

And that truth being that we do often look at things and people with envy, jealousy and even malice.  With that envy, jealousy and malice; love, hope and peace don’t come easily. My envy and jealousy can easily disrupt my own peace. The evil eye, it is believed, sends that negative energy to the object of envy resulting in misfortune and illness for the object. So many people do many things to protect themselves from the affects of the evil eye.

Some use a more artistic rendering of an eye looking back at you…

And others use a simple black dot on the forehead or cheek of a child

Whatever the mode of dealing with the evil eye, it all points to a real acknowledgement that we can be jealous and that when we operate out of that mindset, people can be affected.

I’m not a fan of the evil eye but I love the willingness to acknowledge that we are human and our lives affect one another.