Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reflections on Delhi


So, it's been a while since we returned from New Delhi, and here is a little mashup photo diary of our time in India's capital city. What can I say about Delhi, other than it was a surreal experience, which opened my eyes to a new understanding of our world. To the beauty of human connection and sincerity, and to the horror of poverty and corruption. It reminded me to be appreciative of my own reality, to show compassion for others, but to also know when not to talk.

Delhi was a mind field, full of excitement, of markets, of people, of smells and of noise. Stray dogs and people wandered the streets begging for food, whilst wealthy ex-pats and tourists avoided the pavement, heading through town in taxis. A family of five or six shared a motorcycle, with only the driver wearing a helmet, the children in between the parents as some sort of safety precaution. The traffic was maddening, as drivers seemed to ignore any rules, however we only witnessed one minor accident our entire time there. 

The food was amazing, and yet it was also the source of two days in bed with a temperature for This Guy. The people were honest, were kind and polite, but many men blatantly ignored me and would only talk to my husband. I can only recall having one conversation with a woman our whole trip, and she was the manager of our hotel. 

We were celebrities, our photo taken at almost all the tourist hot spots, and the market places. We were an easy target for stall holders, who made attempts to sell us their products. Many people stopped us on the street to ask us where we were from, and This Guy and our new friend would then proceed to discuss Sydney Opera House and the Gold Coast, Crocodiles and Kangaroos.

The place was full of pollution, but underneath all the rubbish, it was obvious that there was still life, green grass that yearned to be free. There were parks, behind fences, where only the wealthy could enjoy their leisure time. There was beautiful monuments and temples, where I sat and meditated. These were beautiful places, of still quietness in a city full of busy.

India showed me both sides of humanity, from those who fed stray dogs their leftovers, to those who fought over a customer's attention. Now I find myself seeing parallels in my own reality, that I may not have seen before.  The greed that makes makes money by making people think they aren't pretty or good enough, so that they will buy their happiness. The humanity of a child who helps an eldery stranger with their groceries, or the man who sacrifices his happiness for someone else. 

Delhi, you were so tragically beautiful and I loved you for that. Thank you for being so raw, for sharing with me your wounds, and your reality. To see more than an Instagram photo, and appreciate the stories that such a country is full of.

 You were a timely reminder for me of just how much I have in Australia, of the clean water, the nice apartment, the secure employment, the medical services and the education. I am my husband's equal, not his possession. For every day now I can happily say that India was what I needed to see the bigger picture. To see that I am so wealthy in so many ways.