What I Don’t Know About India

After finally getting around to watching Slumdog Millionaire, I was reminded that my world view is still incredibly limited to the few places I have been. (India not being one of those places.) As an avid reader, I try to stay abreast of both international news stories as well as the fictitious plots of novels set in destinations I have yet to visit. Although this helps me feel I’m accomplishing some sort of higher calling to look beyond what is taking place in my own backyard, traveling and experiencing things first hand has definitely become not only my hobby, but my way of truly learning about world.

I know this is true for others as well. My friend’s brother spent time in India not long ago and chronicled his journey, much to my reading pleasure. A business colleague of mine also spent some time in India for business and shared his pictures with me after my probably overwhelming requests for a thorough run through of what I’m missing. The personal accounts, movies, music, news, etc. are really inspiring me to continue learning more about the Indian culture, but my true desire goes back to that need to experience things for myself.

Last I heard, Kent State’s Geography Department had plans to take students/alumni/community members to India next spring… I may or may not be banking on the truth of that rumor, scrambling furiously to accumulate the funds necessary to join such an adventure, continuing to peruse the department’s Web site nearly every day.

While I was watching Slumdog, I was surprised at some of the elements that did remind me of other places I have been. The metal sheeted roofs on the shacks that resemble pictures I took from bridges overlooking the riverside housing in Bangkok. The labyrinth marketplaces overflowing with goods, smells, bartering and the feeling of another time similar to the hours I spent wandering around the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I was either place; would I ever love to go back.

Nostalgia setting in. Back to the distraction of trip planning for spring 2010…

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