Monday, December 31, 2007

Quest 4: Upgrading My Hindi Skills

This has already been the best trip I’ve made to India for sure, except for maybe when I came here for 6 months before for school in 5th grade. That was 10 years ago! But even that remains to be seen.

When we got home from Mathura and Vrindavan, my aunt (my dad’s older sister) and I were the only ones not sleeping because everyone else was so tired they could hardly walk! I wanted to buy a book in Hindi so I could improve my speed in reading it, so my aunt and I went to the bookstore and bought me two children’s reading books. I felt a little awkward buying them because I’m 19 years old, and these books are for 2nd or 3rd graders, but it was worth it because now I can practice my Hindi reading skills! This will be an ongoing quest throughout my stay here in India. And in fact, it is a lifelong quest!


Now I am sitting here updating this blog, but so far today has been SO much fun… it was truly an adventure. I will let you in on a little aspect of the whole trip so far in India that I have not mentioned yet, but I know that anyone who has been to India before is probably wondering why I haven’t…

The beggars in India are one thing that I cannot bear to see, no matter how old I am, when I come, where I am, or who the beggar is. It makes me want to cry every time I see a person so debilitated that they need to beg to survive. Even if the beggar is healthy, my heart just reaches out to these people, yearning to give them something, but I know in my brain that if I give anyone anything then there will be 50 others jumping at me asking for something too. This is the dilemma I face whenever a beggar confronts me. Because here the beggars are not the type where they just stand on the side of the road asking for money, they will actively come up to you and pursue you until you give them something or other. But you have to actively dodge them time and again if you do not want to be overwhelmed by beggars or pick-pocketed while you’re donating. I am deeply affected by this scene whenever I come across it. I don’t know what to do! I want to help everyone, but I know that I don’t have the means to do it.




Anyways, it’s New Year’s Eve, so happy New Year to everyone who reads this!! And thanks for reading it, please please PLEASE feel free to comment!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand your dilemma with beggars, Varun. I was actually foolish enough once during my Egypt stay to donate and within five seconds was encircled by ten of them. This was on Eid too ...