Monsoon has taken on an entirely different meaning now that I was drenched to the bone and had to waddle through knee high water. Apparently last year’s rains were drizzles compared to what I experienced today; nevertheless it opened my eyes to see Hyderabad in a completely different way.
I live in a rather posh area in Hyderabad, however to get to my street you have to take a few inner roads and the deeper you go the less sophisticated the area becomes. On my way home today I got completely lost in the pouring rain, and it didn’t help that I was collecting more than my usual share of stares. I was literally tottering through the water trying to find my way home while trying to dodge the children that were pressing up to see me and most importantly trying to balance myself against the surge of water so I would not fall down.
However during my struggle I had a thought that literally changed my attitude, I realized that the kids and people were actually enjoying themselves and the rain. They were dancing and jumping about as though the rains were a treat, and that’s when I understood that as much as a dread the rains, for these kids it’s something that they look forward to. It’s a special time where they don’t need to have an excuse to get their socks dirty and their clothes smudged; they could roll around in the mud and stomp on the puddles without the fear of getting in trouble. They didn’t care about accidentally swallowing the water of falling down and breaking a limb, they just wanted to be a part of the excitement; they just wanted to feel free. And for that I envied them so much because being here made me think that I had to be a quiet conservative person, and in that moment I realized that there is a difference between being respectable and conservative.
And with that revelation I found myself laughing with the kids and waving back at those that called out to me. I suppose it took me quite some time but I think it’s safe to say that I have decided to accept India, despite the fact that it only took me 13 months, I know now that I can say India is beautiful and know that it’s beautiful for me.