Over the last month we have been sharing reflections on India from our 2017/18 group of interns. They were all asked to write about their 2 week mission trip to India, their experiences, and how the trip had affected them. They are all beautifully written, heartfelt and show their unique perspectives.
This one has been written by Abi Butt
An eternity of opposites – A white girl in an upside down world
The clammy back seat of a mini bus; layers of sweat between leathery skin; an Indian sun beating its inhabitants. This is an English girl from a modern world, thrown into a city of smog and Hindi.
Horns honking like a pack of dogs and dogs barking like the starving children. Cows prioritised over humans – culture turned upside down. The air is thick with heat and a desperation of broken dreams, the aroma of curry overruling them all.
Claustrophobia clinging to every street. Street children clinging to the image of a white girl. Colour spilling from every angle, every perspective a reflection of another world. The smouldering red of a sari; the revelatory gold of a temple top; the dirt brown soil; the grey faces of hopeless situations and the black outline of poverty. Eternities separated by a layer of glass.
A knock on the window startles this white girl, breaking the noise and confusion with another sound: the sound of desperation, begging, hard gut determination. Two men. Poverty tattooed into the creases of their faces. Skin like a bin liner layered with dust and perspiration. Hope melted like ice. They just want her money.
A glance like glass through the window panes. A collision of realities. A smile beyond reach from that mini bus seat. Time stands still because time doesn’t matter anymore. A self absorbed girl from a self absorbed world, a celebrity amidst a fractured reality.
A frozen heart in forty degree heat and a melting heart in an air conditioned seat.
An upside down reality.