It is 3 in the morning when I find myself back in Delhi. After 8 years in time, experience, and life, I am back in a place which made me feel happy, sad, loved. A place which educated me, enraged me, and inspired me. Where I connected to people and myself. Just as last time I arrive with a small bag, and large expectations. And where the previous flight experience was jammed between two middle aged Indian friends who preferred me in the middle seat, this time I was entertained by a slick, bodybuilding shoe salesman who just came back from Milan.
A prepaid taxi brings me through the immer chaotic, busteling streets of Delhi to my friend where I can stay in the coming days. A warm, enlightening welcome after all these years. A special feeling creeps up through my spine when grasping the situation. To have a place that feels like home on the other side of the world. A place different in every aspect of my own country, but a place which feels just as much home.
The days that follow throw me back on my feet, back to reality. Because even though the feeling is real, India has a parallel existence. These two worlds exist side by side, non colliding islands without real connections. There is the world of people struggling to get by, to make the lives of their children just a bit better than they had. Not particularly happy or sad, just in acceptance of what is. However the enormous power, intelligent people and wealth also brings a world of arrogance and ignorance. A world of showing off just because you can. Accelerating your big new car through the over crowded streets. Wearing designer shoes covered with Delhi dirt.
To not be overwhelmed or angry, im trying to accept. Because even though I find it unbelievable, hurtful and unnecessary, it is not up to me. Im just a guest. And as a guest I have reconnected and met the most fantastic group of people. Creative, educated, funny, and extremely welcoming.