It’s been more than two weeks since I came to India. So, it’s finally time to sit and reflect.
Thanks to all the fantastic food I am eating, my brain cells are working better than ever.
India… India India India… India has changed so much yet not changed at all. I was here roughly two years back. Everything is cashless now —literally everything. I went to the fruit market, where some vendors refused to accept cash. Everyone has phones, and my god, the internet speeds are comparable to the US. Places like Hiranandani and BKC in Mumbai have sites that charge the US equivalent.
I was most scared about the weather in India. But, Thankfully, I choose a good time to visit. Mumbai had pleasant/humid/fine weather. But unfortunately, Surat is burning at 39 C during the day. Only after I went to the US did I realize how difficult it is to survive so much heat.
I have lived here for 22 years. Twenty-two years without realizing my skin cells are dying due to the ultraviolet rays. Twenty-two years without sunscreen because Indian sunscreen brands suck AF. Twenty-two years without carrying a cap or sunglasses when outside. Twenty-two years without booking an Uber and asking the driver to shut the windows for A/C. Twenty-two years without making a fuss about how there was dust everywhere.
Ok, am I sounding like a show-off now? Maybe.
You know what, I still survived. I was always irritated and sweating. I dreaded going outside in the afternoon, yet I still had to step out.
I would have continued to live like that if not for the big move.
I would have never known the other side of the world is so much more comfortable yet so much more lonely.
Now, I can finally say I have first-world problems 😛 And let me tell you, it’s an honor and privilege to have first-world issues like not getting an upgrade on the economy ticket and complaining about the calorie intake.
I realize I have a lot more than many people on this planet. Yet, I would selfishly pray to have my loved ones with me in New York. Story of an Immigrant.
Something that makes me sad is seeing poor, hungry young kids sit by the roadside and beg. Can I do something about this? I am sure every Indian has thought about this at some point. You can do a lot. I can do a lot. I can still do so much even if I am not present here. Back in the day, I was just a student. But now, I can move things. Education changes lives. I have decided to support NGOs working on this initiative and would encourage you.
I have seen people living below the poverty line.
They don’t talk about hygiene, diet, or quality of life.
Instead, they care about food for the family, shelter, and drinking water.
It’s fascinating how the family you are born in has the power to dictate your life. Can we ever create a world where it would not?