“For those of you who have not yet travelled to India, I beg you to pack your bags and go” says Olivia Nysse, a Travel Consultant from Student Flights.
This quote has been playing repeatedly over and over in my mind since returning back from India.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr
From the over absorption of noise, smells and sights one would have thought you can only dream about, my senses were awakened from the moment I stepped off the plane into this incredible place.
Since returning home from India I have been questioning myself…
Why do I feel this different? How have I changed?
What has caused this shift in my reality?
I’d like to introduce you to Ramo…
I met Ramo in a town called Orchha, he was sitting outside Ram Raja temple, heating up a pot of Chai Masala.
Ramo had just finished school for the day and was helping his mother light the fire to heat the Chai. Within seconds the pot was boiling and the aroma of spiced cinnamon lured us over. As we drank our Chai Masala, (hoping this wasn’t another case of Delhi Belly) Ramo cheekily smiled at us and starting counting…
“One, Two, Tree, Faw, Fife, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Then, Areven..”
He made it all the way to twenty, his toothless grin beaming.
He was so proud, as was I.
Ramo was only one day old when he was found wrapped in a blanket outside Ram Raja Temple, abandoned by a mother whom could neither afford him nor look after him.
This beautiful woman, who spends every afternoon sitting outside, waiting for customers to purchase her Chai Masala, found him. With her hard earned money she sends Ramo to a school, where he is fed one meal per day.
It’s experiences like these that answer those three questions.
A kitchen that feeds everyone
I’d also like to share with you Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, a Sikh Gurdwara, or Sikh House of Worship, located in Delhi. The grounds include a Temple, large kitchen, a holy pond, a school and an art gallery.
The concept of this religion is that all people, regardless of race and religion may eat in the Gurdwara Kitchen. The food is prepared by volunteers and I was fortunate enough to help out with the preparation of this meal, rolling Chapatis with the locals and stirring the pot of Dahl.
After preparing the meal in the hot kitchen, I sat next to a young man who kept talking to me in Hindu, oblivious to any idea that I may not understand him. As the food was passed around he politely took one piece of plain white toast, however instead of eating this himself he passed it to Abby, a friend of mine.
She took a couple of bites before realising the man was hungry and begging for more. Once she realised she passed back the half eaten toast which he then devoured quickly.
Would this happen in our society?
CHANGE YOUR reality
For those of you who have experienced India, you will understand that this country is not just a place; it’s a whole new way of seeing things.
For those of you who have not yet travelled to India, I beg you to pack your bags and go. You might even come back questioning yourself, because I promise you a mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to it’s old dimensions.
KarryOn is proud to support this wonderful story as another fine fantastic example of our 2017 ‘Travel to change the world’ initiative. You can help by sharing this story to raise awareness and using the hashtag #traveltochangetheworld when you see a great example of good will or sustainable initiatives in travel.
Have you been to India before? What did you learn? Share your experience below.
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