Friday, 9 December 2011

I'm Ready to Go

Yesterday was the last official day of my semester in India. We had a session on reentry into the U.S. and reverse culture shock. We had a cute little ceremony where we gave each other silly awards; I got "Most Likely to Design the Best Kurti" and I'm quite proud of this actually. You all know how much I'm obsessed with fashion. Anyway, we were required to go around to everyone and tell how we grew throughout that semester. This took a quick turn towards the sentimental side. I realized how much I had come to all of these people that were strangers just three months ago but have now become such an essential part of my life. Then my friend Poonam cried, which isn't really that shocking but then I started crying. I'm not gonna lie, I bawled like a baby. I could see our Hindi teachers observing and laughing at us but I could tell that, secretly, they really thought we were adorable and wanted to cry right there with us.

Tears were wiped, saris were donned, and with bindis on our foreheads we headed to the Indian Habitat Center, a huge convention center that doesn't really look like it belongs in India, for our final banquet. We all looked beautiful in our saris, our host families were there to say their final goodbyes and have some delicious khana (food) with us. The banquet was a lot of fun but riding back to the hotel was a bit weird. It all felt very surreal, thinking that some of us would be in America within just 24 hours. The United States just feels like such a distant, foreign world after having spent close to four months in India. I'm not sure that the fact that I have to go back has fully sunk in yet, actually. This is probably because I still have a few days left in India before I fly back to Amrika. 10 days, to exact.

You're probably asking yourself what I'm going to be doing now. Traveling, of course. But you knew that so the question is really where will I be going? Well, I'm currently on the Shatabdi train with 5 of my friends heading up to Amritsar so that we can spend the day there. We want to spend the night in the Golden Temple, which you can't book ahead of time, so hopefully we have a place to sleep tonight. Then we'll be heading back to Dilli so we can catch our flight to Goa. Hopefully all goes as planned, or unplanned in our case.

- Eli

P.S. I promise I will be posting the few pictures I took in Mumbai and those from the banquet soon so you can take a look at those. Also, I have embedded a YouTube video of a song that my friend Mateo Corby wrote, it expresses a bit of what I'm feeling as I set off to see as much of India as I can before I have to leave. It's a great, very catchy song. I find it very appropriate that Mateo wrote a song about traveling given that he traveled over 20 countries in his undergraduate career... I'm slightly jealous of him but seriously impressed.