Oh Mother India
Every summer I go to India in hope to achieve some sort of understanding of what I want to do with myself in the future and since I have to do this every year, it is pretty obvious that this never works. Sometimes, when you hit rock bottom, the optimum level of desperation and ask life of something it guides you and shows you the way. Other times, it flips you the finger and tells you to buzz off whereby you manage to find someone else to bother. Every year for the past 4 years I have been writing about my trip to India and within the next few weeks these summaries of my pathetic attempt to help myself usually end up buried with old pictures of cats on my laptop. Unfortunately, this year was nothing special and I am, still, lost. So why write? Why bother going through colossally awkward hours to describe how nothing has changed? Because, that’s what’s special about India. If India were to be a person, it would be that friend everyone has who will never help you, but you stick around with because it’s just too much fun. Sure, I’m still clueless about what to do in life, but in the past one and a half months, I almost got into a fight with a midget, nearly died about a hundred times and got hit by a horse at 2 in the afternoon. None of these stories taught me anything, however, they are stories I will never forget.
I was travelling in a bus in Bangalore to go to my uncle’s house and everything was going smoothly until the 3.5 foot devil entered the bus. Myself being the only 6-foot tall bloke on the bus, he looked at me as if I was the Darth Vader to his Luke Skywalker. Since it was crowded I had to stand up, which I had no problem with even though I was supplied with sweat odor more than oxygen itself. I do not know what I might have said or done to offend the gentleman, but when he was walking forward, he gave me a rather strong shrug. Since I am tall and he is on the opposite end of that spectrum, his shrug pushed my knee causing me to break down as if I were to propose to someone. Naturally, I asked the man if he had some problem with me. Since I am not an insensitive prick, I got up first so it wouldn’t seem as if I am mocking him. I don’t know if he thought his louder voice would make him sound scarier or something of that idea but when he yelled back at me, it sounded like piglet on steroids. Unfortunately, his voice caught everyone’s attention and they looked at me as if I was the one being the prick. There was no way I was going to look like the good guy fighting a midget so I was trapped. Since, I am terrible at handling such situations, I jumped off the bus and walked the next two blocks.
This year, for some god-forsaken reason, I decided to go trek the Himalayas with a friend of mine. The first 5 days were hard, but I managed to survive on protein bars and body deodorant. The sixth and last day of the ascending part of the trek nearly killed me thousands of times. The mountain was covered immensely with snow and it wasn’t the fun kind. Before we started trekking I was expecting some sort of rope to connect all the trekkers so nobody falls off. That must have been too luxurious or something, because it did not happen. I inquired with one of the technical staff members regarding my concerns and their response was if we fell down about 10–15 yards, they would help us get back up. I stared at the man hoping that it would be one of the many jokes people make that I cannot comprehend, but he just marched on. 15 minutes on to the trek I started to lose hope on the whole ‘joke’ idea. When the first person fell 12 yards down I realized that the men were not joking. If there were to be a scene to represent my shock, it would be Hitler discovering that the current president of the United States of America is black. Naturally, I nearly plummeted to my death innumerable amounts of times. After that day, death became a joke. When I came back to the city, a car almost ran me over and my response was something along the lines of ‘meh’ The miserable things that should have affected me, such as, eating the same food everyday, sitting around donkey feces all day and sleeping in a tent designed for dwarves, seemed like peanuts after the inexplicable events that took place in the final ascend.
While I was living in Vrindaban, to work on my laptop I had to walk to an office not far from home. One thing to be known about Vrindaban is, it is filled with vicious monkeys that love bullying humans. While I was walking to the office, out of nowhere, a horse starting walking alongside me. Keep in mind, there was no rope or saddle to suggest somebody was riding it or walking it previously. I didn’t care about it much because the horse didn’t do me any harm. Unfortunately, as if someone in the sky was taking a break and having fun, a group of monkeys started yelling and running towards me. They must have thought I was carrying food in my bag. My first thought was to realize that they are 3 times faster than me and I cannot outrun them. My second thought was to realize that the horse did not care about the monkeys at all. Finally I concluded that if I got behind the horse, I would be protected while the horse protected itself. Somehow the horse had managed to get itself too close to me and I couldn’t go around it. Every time I realized something the monkeys were getting closer, so I panicked. I thought I should get on top of the horse. 7 seconds later I realized how miserable of an idea that was. Halfway through I remembered that there was no saddle on the horse, henceforth, there was nothing I could keep my foot on to climb the horse. Consequently I fell on the ground with my laptop bag following. The noise I made when the laptop fell on me was so stentorious the monkeys considered it a threat and walked away. I still continued to walk to the office with a limp and a numb hand, pretending as if none of this ever happened. Yet, here I am 3 weeks later, writing about this.
Did any of these stories teach me anything? No. But I’ll never forget them because that is what India is about. Whether you will find yourself in India will vary from person to person. However, one thing is mutual with all. You will, and I guarantee this, lose your heart in India.