Do not get me wrong, it is still India that I am living in. In spite of the enormous shopping centers, one must still watch out for passing cows when exiting to the parking lot. In spite of the quiet parks filled with people reading or exercising, it is entirely possible that one’s peace could be disturbed by a passing float with an extravagantly decorated statue of Lord Ganesha (a deity with many arms, many colors, the head of a crowned elephant and the body of a human), surrounded by a crowd of dancing people, banging on all forms of percussion as they continue down the street. The last scenario only happens during the current festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, but still, there are many ways in which India’s true colors come to be exhibited.
Living as a part of it all, I feel that I have become very well adjusted to it, and am quite at home with whichever form it ends up taking. All of its qualities, young and old, rich and poor, and dark and bright are what make India what it is. A country may be able to change its façade, but it can never change its spirit. And for that, I am glad.
Sam Aldridge is a Rotary Exchange student from Milford. To read more from him, visit thebarodasagas.