As I come regularly to India, I realize that I have become accustomed to the sights, smells and tastes that are all about India. Below are a few pictures about my current trip. I arrived earlier today, and have been settling into my flat, which will also double as one of the training spaces for the work I am doing with the East/West Center for Counseling. In this day, I have already seen cows meandering the street, heard honking as if honking was going to change any of the traffic, and experienced what I most miss when at home- A sense of vibrant engaged people in the streets. There are so many people! Because it is warm here (actually HOT) there are saris and salwaar kameezes in every color and patterns. As I think about all the layers I wear to stay warm at home, and how much we withdraw and hide ourselves because of the cold, I am aware that the warmth for me also means a coming alive and being present with others that often seems lacking in Vermont.
I have gathered though that this too is changing in India. At breakfast with my colleague Magdalene Jeyarathnam (Director of the East/West center for Counselling) we discuss the fact that many more people are buying on line items that usually one goes to the stores for. Malls here are emptying out because of this, and she senses a “lack of communication between people – no one actually meets another as its all done online”
I felt sad upon hearing this. Coming to India feeds this part of my Soul. People are always talking with each other- One goes to the store for everything. When I pointed out that I like trying on my clothes and don’t buy too much online because of it, she noted that there are now companies that come to your home to try things on and then you purchase.
Now that is something I might like.