Author: Noopur Parekh
To visit your motherland is a life changing experience. I had the privilege of doing so in 2007 when I look my extraordinary journey to the beautiful India. As I took my first step into Ahmadabad, India, I was overwhelmed by the rush of the city. Driving down the chaotic streets while seeing cows on the roads sent chills down my spine. However, I finally reached my grandparent’s house; I then found what I had been looking for. The warmhearted welcomes from the neighbors reminded me of the heartwarming hospitality of the people there. Their embraces made you feel like you belonged there.
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I then continued my journey through this culture-rich country as I attended weddings. The weddings were full of noise, laughter, love, and delicious food. The colors sent warm vibes through my body and the noise of the tablas and laughter of family lifted my spirits. The endless days of enjoyment showed me how the people of this country knew how to enjoy life to its fullest extent. The days consisted of eating homemade food and spending precious time with family and then we danced the night away, celebrating not only the marriage of two people, but also the luck of being blessed with a large, content family. It inspired me to overlook any downfalls in life and ponder on what I had been blessed with.
My Journey didn’t stop in Ahmadabad. It continued as I took a plane to the historic city of Delhi, where we were welcomed by my father’s childhood friends. We visited the Taj Mahal the next day, which is a memory I will never forget. As I look my first step through the gate, I saw the most extravagant building. The while marble building towered into the sky and the intricate carvings caught the eyes of its viewers. To think that the marble was carried from Rajasthan to Agra by camels, put together without cranes, and carved with fingernails was beyond my imagination. I felt the history of the building flood over me and realized at that moment that I had tears forming in my eyes.
Towards the end of my trip, I attended a prayer ceremony for my grandfather in a village of India. I experienced the transition between a well developed city to a small village. The cars vanished as I began to see camels and elephants on the streets. When we reached there, the Temple’s roof was lined with monkeys, and along the temple there were small stands with traditional women selling clay pots and steel pans. People pushed and shoved each other just to see the face of god located in the front of the temple.
By the end of the trip, I felt a rush of pride to have come from such a diverse country. Each state had its own culture and language, and each family showed immense hospitality and love. However, my eyes opened up to the large amount of poverty that existed in this overcrowded country. The scenes of young children and handicapped individuals begging for money are some that I will never forget. It inspired me to not only appreciate what I had, but to also try to find a way to help those people. I now dream of opening up a hospital and shelter in India to care for these people. My trip to India was an irreplaceable journey of a lifetime.