Tuesday, November 25, 2008

lost and found

Six months.

Six months since I wrote last. I considered starting a new blog, but that might have been disingenuous. Tonight I looked over this for the first time in more than 6 months, and it brought back so many emotions.

I'm a different person now. I feel a lot older, rougher around the edges, lucky for having had it all, but not the same. That was then, this is now.

The oh-so-sweet stuff? We got hitched. Although I'm less inclined than I used to be to say things happen for a reason, I know I got what I truly needed by coming to India. A person to share the rest of my life with. All I need eh? :)

I am sad that I didn't continue blogging way back when. I didn't write about it at the time because a lot more was involved. The managers at the company I worked for had problems with my blog. It rather astounded me - so much for freedom of speech! I wasn't told 'you can't blog' ... but many harsh and painful things were said that made it not a good time to continue. I regret that now... I should have just kept writing. But hey, you can't change the past, and more importantly, when surrounded by ignorance, jealousy and idiots, the most honourable thing to do is stand up for what you believe in, not bow down and let them dominate you. But I caved thinking my career was at stake. It's good to have that far behind me now and to not be faced with those people any more. I hope I have learned to see through lies a little more clearly in the future at least!

For now it's onwards and upwards. Though the dream of India is perhaps lost behind the cloud of its reality, I know that in time I will learn to love it in new ways. I was never so naive to not see all the negative as well as the good. But I was experiencing it in that lucky way that tourists and business travelers do... a bubble of colour and convenience and being taken care of. The real India is less careful with its inhabitants. Perhaps the good thing is it has made me realise what I do care about in my own culture so I can return and value that once again.

I can remember what I used to see - I still see that sense of wonder and joy in other travelers. But now I feel worn by the everyday things - poverty, corruption, the lack of care for the desperately poor, no hygiene, sexism, apathy, and vast cultural differences I struggle to understand. I'm about to turn 40 and I know I am less mellow with age instead of more. Hmph... that's not quite what I expected. Not how I was writing a year ago! But I think India can push you to extremes. She is not an easy landlord.

So... there is the India I have lost and the India I have found. The country that used to soothe me which is now gone, and the Indian who took my hand and walks beside me on this once lonely journey. I was lost, then found.

One little note: So many of my friends are Indians. I know they will be very disappointed at my feelings. It's not nice that many westerners come to India and only see the hardships here, so I know they really enjoyed my delight in all things Indian. But it is hard to be stuck between two cultures (just ask Gagan!). The longer I am here the more I find the natural instincts I grew up with are just too different and don't make sense here. Things I perhaps found quaint before, now seem stifling. I can only see things through my western interpretation, and I know I need a balance of my world as well. I will always love India.. just in a different, more realistic way. I hope you can forgive me for that.

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