Don't Drink the Water

Camel in IndiaMy husband and I recently returned from a trip to Southern India – Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum. My husband’s family are of Indian descent and this was my first trip. The experience was more amazing than I can put into words.

Nothing in India is predictable. It is complete sensory overload. It’s hard to describe a place where things are happening 360 degrees around you.

One way I can attempt to describe it would be: At the same time I was gazing at a beautifully-carved Hindu temple, I watched women in dazzling saris sell market goods under an umbrella to avoid the intense burning sun, a monkey steal an ear of corn out of a woman’s hand and other monkeys climb on a nearby car, cows graze in the street eating coconuts, an ox pull a truckload of goods in this overwhelmingly busy street, a family of four on a single motorcycle whiz through traffic and finally a little boy asking me if I had any chocolate he could have.

Wow. I feel exhausted just writing that sentence. Actually, I feel excited.

Seeing so much happen made me feel rejuvenated. The people are more religiously devout in all three faiths than I have ever met. There are many ethnic groups, each practicing daily traditions while sharing in a rich culture with deeply-rooted family values.

I met countless family members that welcomed me with open arms. Not only did I acquire a better understanding of my husband’s family, but of the life they had before immigrating to the United States. I never realized how much of a shock it must have been when they immigrated. I have so much respect for my husband’s parents for having the courage to start a new life in a different country so that they could give their children more opportunities.

The trip was interrupted the day after we left Bangalore when there was an episode of multiple small bombs, which killed a few people. This is a rarity in the southern part of the country.

When we landed back in Logan airport, I was confused. I just didn’t know where all the traffic and cows were. And, I could wash my face from water out of the tap. I joke about these differences, but I can’t wait to go back.

I have many stories to share, feel free to ask.

Amanda Jayachandran

About Amanda Jayachandran

Amanda creates unique strategies to help tell her clients’ stories. Her passion for design earned more than 35 design awards across branding and identity campaigns, direct marketing and demand generation, websites and event support. She consistently exceeds industry standard returns in interactive and print campaigns.

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