Rachel in India

Rachel, a 2006 SMU graduate in History and Indian Studies, is working on her PhD in South Asian History at Boston College. This summer she’s returning to Pune, India, through the American Institute for Indian Studies for the second summer of a language intensive in Marathi.

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Back to my first love

I’m back in India, and despite the pollution all around me, it’s like a breath of fresh air. There’s just something about India that captivates me. It’s the smell of the spicy food as I walk past restaurants. It’s the people who pass me on the street. It’s this chaotic city that somehow feels so peaceful. I’m in the place where I feel I am most truly myself. I know that I’ve come back to my first love.

I’ve come back to Pune for the second time, and India for the fourth time. I’ve been here for about a week, and I keep asking myself – what is it that draws me here? What is it that keeps bringing me back? Is it my need for adventure, or perhaps some innate desire to be somewhere different from my home? But the truth of the matter is that I don’t have an answer. I really don’t know. What I do know, however, is that whatever it is, whatever keeps drawing me here, has my heart. India is part of who I am, and just being here, walking down the streets alone amongst the crowds, brings a smile to my face.

I’ve come back to my first love, and despite her many flaws, I keep coming back for more. It’s her flaws that make her so perfect. It’s the difficulty of getting anything done – because nothing is simple in India. It’s the challenge of simply finding a rickshaw to take you somewhere at a fair rate. Yes, it’s frustrating sometimes, but there’s something charming about these everyday occurrences. I’ve come here to learn a language, but I’m learning so much more. So much more about life, about this place and perhaps most importantly, about myself.

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