Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

India Trip Diary -1

This is a subjective view of my visit.
Chennai Jan 13, Sunday

Arrived 3 a.m. at the Chennai airport. Sleeping for couple of hours and then experiencing the first Indian, or better to say south Indian warm breakfast. Indulged with the taste of Masal tea*, I went for a short walk around the hotel. Soon the sweetness of the tea turned bitter with my short experience in the city. Before arriving I didn’t make any assumption about India but unconsciously I expected to see some similarity to Iran. I couldn't see any similarity and I was sad to see the lack of infrastructure and glimpse of poverty, poverty that I haven’t had seen before.

The same day we had tea with a group of scholars in a so called coffee shop. The coffee place was a newly renovated palace, nice atmosphere, full of elite or foreign visitors. I could see the different image of the city, the rich face. Memories of my first day in India are colored with sadness and confusion. I thought of poverty, of wealth and wondered if life could be the same after what I saw in the city today.

Chennai Jan 14, Monday

We left to visit IIT Madres, a well-known technical institute. We sat on a day of conference with a group of international students, attending post graduate program on Sustainable development. There I met this Swiss architect girl, she was inspiring. She has been working as an architect for couple of years and started her own business. At a point she decided to quit what she was doing and educate herself about Sustainability and came to attend this program in Chennai, South India. She told me she was in Iran with her school 5 or 6 years ago and she loved it. She plans to go back to Europe on a bike (yes biking) or a car through Pakistan, Iran, Armenia, Azarbaiyjan, and couple of other countries!

Last presenter of that day was our program director. He spoke about Lewis Mumford, problems of our modern era and dilemmas of industrialized and technological societies. Second night , I couldn't easily sleep. I have to think of the last presentation and what could be my role in this modern era. If one becomes conscious and see beyond the matrix could he/she still live the same and do nothing to make a change?…I remember I cried that night, this time without being hormonal before a period, I cried for humanity, for our lives in the planet…Oh God, am I crazy! I knew that I will probebly forget, I knew that within couple of days or maybe weeks, I will forget all about it and live my happy modern life without noticing the matrix underneath. Isn’t the ability to forget the most significant ability in the life.

Additional first days observations:

  • Not all Indians can speak English.
  • Food is amazingly delicious and I can take spicy food much easer than I've imagined.
  • Have the first experience of feeling burned up to my ear from spicy food.
  • Due to full schedule no access to internet or international phone was possible. Joost later told that he didn't get worried from not hearing from me for couple of days. As he called it "no news is good news".
*Masala tea or Masala Chi is the Indian chi with masala spices and milk. It is typically served sweet.

A View of the Chennai

Typical South Indian Breakfast


Tahereh said...

dera bahare,
such a wonderful experience, I wish I could go there too.
I can't imagine that you can forget so easily all what you saw.

maybe we can do little but juts little is worthful.
succes .
I get happy to see your text again, the experience of crazy bahareh

Bahareh said...

For Tahereh:
Thanks for your comment, I hope with writing it down I will remember it longer and try to value every moment of my life per this new experience.

For others who didn't read my post or couldn't think of any comments:
I wonder if it is me or my writings that are weird and don't attract that many readers or comments. ;oD