The Beauty of India - My Family Travels

            Middle school was finally over! It was time for a relaxing summer, and boy was I ready.  This summer, I would be taking a trip to India, where my parents migrated from 25 years ago.  This of course, was not my first trip there, but this trip would definitely be different.  I was going to visit the rural parts of India; The “not so fabulous” lifestyle of some. 

             As I embarked on my journey with my mother, and my mother’s childhood friend & daughter,  I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous, and anxious.  We began our trip in Vrindavan, India.  Vrindavan is one of the holiest, yet one of the most rural towns in India.  It is the town where Lord Krishna spend his childhood.  As we drove along the outskirts of the town, I saw small mud huts, with small children roaming around, their bodies only half clothed.  And I looked at myself, fully dressed up.  This was the first of many things I had to notice about this town.

            We finally arrived at a temple, from which we had to go through to get to our hotel, which sounds fancy, but only consisted of a total of 15 rooms, with no amenities.  As I got out of the car, I was told that I was not allowed to walk with sandals, or any shoes on.  I was puzzled, but then explained, that Lord Krishna’s spirit still roams, and this whole town, including the dirt grounds, are holy.  Of course, I was not at all thrilled; it was scorching hot, with insects roaming all over the dirt filled grounds.  But then I saw a group of young kids, about my age at the time, smiling and walking without any shoes, their feet extremely smutty.  It was then that I realized how immature and childish I was being, and immediately stopped fussing. 

            The next morning, we continued our journey throughout the town, visiting various temples, bustling through packs of people, and donating to the poor.  Barefoot, of course.  I never understood how one could feel self satisfaction by doing such deeds, until I did them myself.  Donating to the poor, and underprivileged peoples made me feel humble. There were people without an eye, a leg, or arm, who were smiling and singing hymns with happiness and passion.  I thought to myself, “These people are so happy with the little that they have, and here I am pothering over something so miniscule, like the color of my shirt.” 

            We then fed cows, which are known to be the holiest animal in India, one we worship.  We continued our journey to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the holiest river in India; It is said to heal those with any sort of pain, or problem.  At the time, my mother was suffering with a slipped disk in her lower back, and after many consultations, she gave the Ganges a shot.  A year later, she got news that there was a doctor who was willing to perform surgery on her; The surgery was successful. 

            Our trip ended with a visit to Mathura, another rural town in India.  There, we got to ride camels, and again, feed the poor, and visit holy temples.  There is so much to elaborate upon regarding this trip, but there was definitely a sense of humble & humiliation I received overall.  After this trip, I learned to look at life in the sense of not how much we have, but rather, being happy with what we have.  Because in the end, we leave with nothing more. 


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