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.

Abi#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.