Study India Programme: Reflecting upon my stay

Asking me to only write a 500 word reflection on these three incredible weeks is like asking someone to condense all the stories and teachings in every holy book that ever existed into just a few hundred words. It’s impossible! This trip was everything and more. It’s freed me from so many restraints I had placed on myself. Restraints from following my passion for different faiths, beliefs and religions to the simple restraints of always trying to please others and worrying about others opinions. Now I have released these passions and confidences I shall not restrict them again. This trip has bought a new fascination every day. From the simple act of placing flowers over my head to the complex understanding of the social sciences. I discovered so much that sparked a bonfire of fascination in my heart that I never want to douse. Often the trip bought about frustration. How is it that India has managed to do so many things that large, richer western countries are still busy arguing about without actually doing anything. This goes the other way too. There are so many simple suggestions put forward to the Indian government and country, that would be relatively straight forward to achieve but instead the rest of the world receives a collective head wobble and a shrug.

So, as well as being freeing, fascinating and frustrating I could use any adjective, good or bad, and I would be able to write about something I heard, saw, smelt or did on this adventure that would fit it. When we first arrived Nick said to us ‘for every true thing about India the opposite is equally true.’ As a mathematician myself, this made no logical sense and I almost took it upon myself to prove this wasn’t the case. You can’t have two completely opposite statements being equally true! However, sure enough, even now I can’t think of anything in India that goes against Nick’s statement. It, as a country, is two extremes that live side by side without ever disproving the other. It is a country that can only be summed up by the Indian head wobble, “it is both this and it is that.” It’s everyone’s paradise and everyone’s hell. I am still unsure what it was I went to India with in mind, everyone had told me different things to expect but I don’t think anything prepared me. I arrived as a country bumpkin with my rose tinted glasses on, immature and naive. Slowly, over the three weeks, I removed my glasses, with help, to reveal a scene more colourful that I could have ever dreamt. Yes there were dark patches, but they boarded the colour and made the brightness more intense. My eyes have been opened, my heart stolen and my mind filled. I have, for better or worse, been changed. Thank you, I could not recommend this opportunity enough!

Post by: Libby Down

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