Monday, February 18

Just people. Just a girl.

"Don't keep your money like this."

Already my trip is becoming a collection of memories, of moments frozen in time. Seemingly meaningless exchanges trump monumental ones in my consciousness, and I'm left with a few anecdotes and instructions to embody India.

"Kya hua?"

Because the way you picture India is riding two people on a moped through the colorful streets under mogul arches and past bangle salesmen, and it measures up strangely to hiding in a cold house away from the policemen beating protesters at India gate; to scrutinizing and unsmiling masses, to the lying grins of salesmen, to beggars hoping to prove to you they are worse off than is true, to crouching middle aged men peddling their gods on the roadside.

"Too much!"

Painted sores. Painted gods. Painted smiles.

My heart breaks, and longs to be moved instead of numbed. Will I be challenged or broken? 
At the end of last year I assessed my situation, longing to be radiant instead of frightened; wondering, 'Am I strong enough? Am I strong at all?'

"You're not feeling cold, or what?"

I sit today on my day off, hopeful to soon begin the biography of a 78-year old man I admire, editing his first book before he agrees for me to begin on his second. I sit with valentines taped around my mirror from the precious students in Burari who are creative, attentive, and apt to learn. I sit in a house I share with a great family, but also now with Linda Fleming, an English teacher from Arizona who has come to spend 10 weeks here teaching in PMI. In the four days she's been here, she has already encouraged me beyond what I can express. Her enthusiasm is catching, and her energy is inspiring instead of condemning. We have spent a lot of time together, and I hope we continue to do so. 
I spent part of my day off today with a cup of coffee, doing one of the only things that I found helps me to reconnect with the humanity of humans: quietly watching them. If I am traveling with them, walking alongside them, bargaining with them - then they are in my way. they're smelly. they're selfish. they're unpredictable. they're lazy. they're scary.
but if i just watch them, they're people again. 

I'm thankful for the warmth returning to Delhi. I'm thankful for my students in Burari. I'm thankful for Linda Fleming.
And I'm thankful that people are just people.
Love from Delhi,
Just a girl.

1 comment:

  1. Julie. I love ya girl and am so proud of what you are doing there. It speaks worlds more than I could ever express! Keep on being His hands and feet.