stumbling upon India

I really wanted to let you know that Project Why is still very much in our thoughts. Now that a few weeks have passed since our return from India I can honestly say that what had the biggest impact on us was our time at the Project. Yes, the Taj Mahal was stunning and spotting a tiger was exciting but these memories quickly become more what I would call ‘photograph memories’. Our time at the Project on the other hand seems to move more to the forefront of our memories and it is certainly what we talk about to our friends.

These words dropped in mail mailbox this morning. They ere from a very special person who came with her husband and daughter to spend a few days volunteering with us before setting out to discover incredible India.

Incredible India indeed that lies waiting to be stumbled upon in the most unlikely places: in this case in the tiny lanes of slum India. People often ask why I accept volunteers who come for a short time and whether it is serves any purpose at all. You have your answer in Jennie's words.

A day spent with the most unlikely ambassadors of a country, a dance where your partners are bright eyed 4 years old, moments spent with one that cannot hear or another that can just smile become a different kind of photographic memories: the ones that get chiseled in your heart and stay there forever.

A country is far more than its monuments and places of touristic interest. Its soul and spirit is embed in its real people. Sadly it is often the India that remains hidden and misunderstood. I cannot begin to recount how many puzzled drivers or guides that have frowned on all of us when visitors have come our way. It is almost infra dig to bring a visitor to a slum. And yet anyone who has come by has left with a song in his heart.

The soul of India does lie is its faceless and nameless mass. It is there that you still find the legendary generosity and hospitality that we are supposedly known for. It is often a place where pretense is absent as there is nothing to conceal.

Yet another tale of two Indias where one remains hidden, waiting for you to stumble upon it!