Sealed in a Bottle
I am home! Well, home here in Hyderabad I mean. After two amazing weeks of traveling from Varanasi to Sikkim, I find myself once again, in the hot air and busy sounds of Hyderabad.
I must admit, before departing for the North, I was ready to fly back to the U.S. But after making this journey…I wish I had a magic genie who would grant me more time! Each stop along my journey was marked by new connections and trusting relationships. I met more people than I ever expected, people who I hope to keep in touch with and meet again someday. There were multiple times that I thought to myself- Why didn’t I plan more time for this trip? Why can’t I stay longer with these people?
Yes, the sights were amazing, the food was delicious, the aura of these places was breathtaking- but the people (insert sigh). I am without words. This quote sums it up:
” You can walk missions of miles in a single life without ever touching the surface of the places, nor learn anything from the people seen. The sense of travel lies in stopping to listen, everyone has a story to tell.” -Anonymous
Yesterday, as I left Ayush in Siliguri, the final reality check hit me. My final trip came to a close. My final moments in India were dwindling. And I was saying goodbye to one of the greatest friends I have made here in India. This was virtually the last goodbye to make, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The cab pulled away and tears began streaming down my face, the first of many to come I’m sure.
I gazed out the window, remembering how fascinating the bustling, dirty streets had been in my first days here, and how they have become so normal to me now. How I wish I could seal the senses of this place in a bottle! In one bottle I would capture all of the sounds: the bustle of the streets, the Muslim call to prayer, the voice of a peacock, the ringing of a bell from the nearby temple. In another bottle: the smell of garlic infused in the air, smokey incense, the sweet taste of mango, and pure mountain air. I would even capture the unwanted senses. After all, my experience here would simply not be the same if I was not constantly covered in sweat and smelling putrid air rising up from the streets. I want all this and more sealed tightly in bottles to place on my shelves, available at any moment to be uncorked and experienced. But even then, all of the precious contents would be eventually expelled. Instead, I trust that my heart, mind, and soul will be it’s own bottle, preserving these sensory memories forever!
One of the hardest questions I have received here has also been the hardest one to answer- “So when are you coming back to India?” I always give a smile and reply, “Soon, I pray.”
My adventure here is ending, but a seed has been planted to ignite a journey that will bring me back to this magical place that I have come to think of as home. With the right watering, sunlight, and nurturing I will be back in India before I know it.
But though my journey is ending, my blogging is not through yet! Once I land safely in the U.S, I promise I will post pictures and elaborate on my 2-week journey to north India. Until then, peace!