I have always heard mixed reviews about the visits to my country, India. People either love the country or hate it. I obviously don’t agree with the ones that hate it. But I fully understand why they may dislike certain things about India or their whole Indian experience.
India can teach you a lot. So I have compiled a list of reasons to visit India. These reasons are focussed more on the opportunities for personal growth that India offers rather than the multitude of beautiful sights to see in India.
India is unplanned, chaotic and haphazard. There are way too many people on the streets, cars honking all the time, people praying on loudspeakers, dogs barking and vendors harassing you on the street. The roads in smaller towns have cows, dogs, cats, donkeys, pigs, cycle-rickshaws, two-wheelers, pedestrians, buses, and cars running on a main road at the same time. It can be an overwhelming experience but one that will give you a hard push outside your comfort zone and allow you to grow by experiencing life in this unique part of the world.
India can be challenging, both to like and to understand. India is full of contradictions. It can be challenging because things will not go as planned. You will see people living in squalid conditions. You will also see people living in great affluence. You may hate the country for being the way it is. You may think it is unfair that there is so much inequality. It will be a challenge to make the most of your holiday, that is if it is a holiday indeed. However, you may also learn to overcome this challenge and like India despite its glaring imperfections.
India is a different world. There is a different culture. People have different perceptions and different lifestyles. Engaging with the culture and keeping an open-mind will teach you new things about its people and places.
Seeing vast poverty and tremendous inequality in India will make you deeply grateful for what you have. Seeing small children selling cheap goods on the roads, people sleeping on the footpath, veiled women in villages, people working for meagre sums of money will change you. You will realise how privileged you are and be thankful for it. You may even notice how little one needs to be happy.
Lemonade Out of Lemons
India will teach you how to make the best out of the worst. It will teach you how to make a lemonade out of the lemons it gives you. A few examples of such lemons would be 24-hours long train delays, filthy toilets, getting scammed, getting stuck in the loud and unforgiving Indian traffic, walking through a colourful market and looking down on the road to see filth. India will teach you how to appreciate the beauty amidst the ugliness that surrounds it. It will teach you how to adjust to difficult and unforeseen circumstances. It will show you how to see the positive in the negative.
Problem Solving Skills
India will teach you how to think on your feet. When things don’t go according to plan, you will find yourself coming up with creative solutions to your problems. Indians call this Jugaad i.e. creative problem solving skills. India will be a test of your patience, mental strength and endurance.
It is crucial to keep a positive and open mind while visiting India. You will see things that you hate and things that you will absolutely love. A positive mindset will help you to overcome the challenges of visiting India. It help you to emerge as a stronger and wiser person at the end of your Indian adventure.
- Feature image by Fares Nimri available at http://www.unsplash.com