Tuesday, March 01, 2016
India - What I would like to share with you
When you arrive I India at first you are overwhelmed by the noise and the congestion. Poverty and filth are everywhere. Mixed in amongst the traffic, are pedestrians pushing carts, cows roaming freely, elephants and camels. Horns are honking and people are darting in and out. Everyone is working and moving,
Within a few days it all seems so natural. All the commotion is just a way of life. Poverty disappears into village after village of simple people living a simple life. Everyone works. In the villages everyone has a smart phone and many do not have plumbing or toilets. Technology is the priority.
The women whether rich, poor, old or young are the most beautifully dressed in the world. The country is a blaze of color from the beautiful sarrees. In the poorest of villages you will see women dressed in beautiful colors.
The people are kind even though they have been dominated and controlled for centuries. They are just now emerging as a democracy. Still corruption prevails. India is not a poor country. It is a country where the government is still corrupt. It’s not poverty that holds it back; it’s corruption and greed.
I visited a Shiki temple in Delhi. Every day the Shiki temple feeds anyone and everyone for free. You just need to show up, grab a plate; sit down and the volunteers will feed you. This is a symbol of wealth and prosperity being used for humanitarian work.
I saw a tiger in the wild, opened my eyes to the cultural and political views of India, and met my yoga guru. I took private yoga lessons in the yoga capital of the world and did a 16 miles white water rafting trip down the Ganga where I was drenched by the river and purified my soul. I witnessed a funeral on the banks of the Ganga and watched young children frolic and play. I visited the Beatle’s Ashram.
I went to an orphanage and met a young man who was abandoned at age two and is now about to go off to Australia on a scholarship to study bioengineering and then come back to India to improve the organic growing of food for a country that has many mouths to feed.
The normal greeting is Namaste. It simply means I am grateful to meet you. Not everyone is happy and not everyone is nice. Humans can be brutal and cruel, but they also can be kind and caring. When you come back to the US you realize how very good we have it. The poorest of our people live better than the working class of India. But they are not oppressed. Everyone works and everyone eats.
If I can give you one tip when going to India it is to take a roll of toilet paper and keep it in your bag. Toilet paper and western toilets are hard to find. You’ll do a lot of squatting in dirty bathrooms that don’t have toilet paper or towels. But your cell phone will work just fine. Be careful of the cow dung; it’s everywhere. Indian’s love their cows. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to drivng through town with cows, camels, elephants, carts and blasting horns. It’s just the way it is in India; a diverse culture with deep Hindu roots that always bend back to one common thread; be content and be at peace.Doctor Lynn