I know I have neglected my duties of blogging for quite some time. I will begin writing again now that I am back in New York after traveling for the past two months, most recently in India. Essentially my plan is to recount what happened in India through a series of posts, in which I’ll include some photos and videos, etc. Here is my first installment:
Day 1: In the dawn of the first day in Delhi, a thick fog clouds the city. For years I have been enamored with aspects of South Asian culture. Having studied Kajira rhythms and amassing a decent library of both traditional and modern Indian music, I was ready to embrace a culture that I had already felt comfortable with before arriving. India is beautiful. Yet within a few minutes in Delhi, a whole new world begins to present itself. The intense poverty is overwhelming, as children, often crippled, beg at every intersection in the city. India is dirty. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but this constant sense of contradiction in India. Beauty and trajedy. Even the term snake charmer fits the bill… Why would anyone want to charm a snake?
I also felt a big isolated, for the first time in years. While I have been doing significant amounts of traveling in the past few years, it has been to places where I feel comfortable with the language, know many people, and at least have some hope of blending in. Knowing no Hindi/Urdu, I stuck out in India, towering over the men an average of five inches, and a foot over the women. Luckily the Humari Dunya director, Soofia Ahmed, was there to help, with her husband Zubair. It was an unfamiliar feeling to me to be a complete outsider.